Day puts spotlight on heart attacks

A DAY highlighting the importance of quick action when someone suffers cardiac arrest was held last week.

The first Restart a Heart Day — to stress the importance of early cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation in an out-of-hospital cardiac emergency — was held around Europe on October 16.

It was revealed that in the UK last year, more than 100,000 people died from sudden cardiac arrest, which is well over 200 every day.

Out of hospital, with CPR alone, the chance of survival is around five per cent, but with CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED), the chance of survival can increase up to 74 per cent.

Louise Walker, commercial training officer at the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service, said: "Without CPR, oxygenated blood is not being pumped around the vital organs and for every minute we delay defibrillation the chance of survival decreases by around 14 per cent.

"You will do more harm to a person in cardiac arrest by not doing anything. It's so important people think and act quickly, by phoning 999 or 112 as soon as they recognise a person is unconscious and not breathing normally. Commencing CPR will buy the patient time until the emergency services arrive."

Defibrillators are stationed around the Island — including at tourist destinations, schools and ferry terminals — with trained staff on hand.

The NHS has issued guidelines in how to act in an emergency cardiac situation:

  • 1 Phone 999 or 112 for help.
  • 2 Start CPR.
  • 3 Defibrillate safely if an is AED available.

To apply for an AED and training, contact Louise Walker at ambulance HQ on 534111.