No broken hearts this Valentine’s Day

Tuesday 11th February 2014 – 1.30pm – Murray MacGregor.

Ambulance bosses are urging the public to ensure there is no heartbreak this Valentine’s Day by learning how to ‘mend’ a broken heart.

Last year (2013), West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to over 100,000 heart related cases; that is over 10% of all of the 999 calls we received.

Matt Ward is the Trust’s cardiac lead. He said: “The 999 service is here for life threatening emergencies and a cardiac arrest is the most serious type we respond to. We literally have seconds to save your life.

“A cardiac arrest is very different to a heart attack. In a cardiac arrest, your heart has stopped beating and there is no oxygen getting to your brain. If you don’t get help almost immediately you will die.

“You only have an 80% chance of surviving a cardiac arrest. However, for every minute after your heart stops beating that you DON’T get CPR, (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) your chance of survival drops by 10%.

“Based on these figures you can see that getting help quickly is absolutely vital. That is why it is very disheartening that bystanders or member of the public only try and help patients in less than 60% of cases of cardiac arrest.

“Learning how to do CPR is very simple and could literally be a life saver.

“We would urge people to take a first aid course. You never know when you might need to use the skills you learn, whether it is on a friend, loved one or a complete stranger who collapses in the street.

“There are many courses available but you could do a lot worse than to look at taking up one of the Heartstart courses which are supported by the British Heart Foundation (BHF)”.

If you want to know more, have a look at the Vinnie Jones adverts that the BHF created recently. All you need to remember is ‘Hard and Fast’

• Shout for help
• Dial 999
• Press hard and fast to the tune of Staying Alive

Original Hard & Fast:
Mini Vinnie:
Lego Vinnie:

Note to Editors
The total number of heart related 999 calls in 2013 was 106,884.
Cardiac / respiratory arrests 8,926
Chest pains 85,136
Other heart related issues such as palpitations 12,822


Written by officialwmas

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) covers a geographical area of approximately 5,000 square miles and serves a population of 5.6 million people living in Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Coventry & Warwickshire, Staffordshire and the Birmingham & the Black Country conurbation. The Trust has a total number of 4000 members of staff and uses 864 vehicles.

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