If you were faced with someone who had gone into cardiac arrest, would you know what to do to help? The reality is that every second counts in such situations.
Each year, West Midlands Ambulance Service attends up to 4,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests. On average, Midlands Air Ambulance Charity supports the service at 1,000 of those incidents via its three air ambulance helicopters and recently launched critical care car.
Due to the number of cardiac-related cases the two organisations attend, West Midlands Ambulance Service and Midlands Air Ambulance Charity are joining forces to raise awareness of World Restart A Heart Day (Tuesday 16th October).
This year we hope to train more than 30,000 children in a single day at schools right across the West Midlands.
The campaign run by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Resuscitation Council aims to train as many children as possible in CPR, so they have the ability to use this lifesaving skill should be need it. The BHF highlights that if a person suffers an out of hospital cardiac arrest in the UK, they have less than a one in ten chance of surviving. Equally, for every minute after the patient’s heart has stopped, their chance of survival drops by ten per cent. This is why it is so important to learn CPR and be prepared to use those skills as they will increase a patient’s likelihood of survival.
Ian Roberts, Air Operations Manager for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, said: “When dealing with someone who has gone into cardiac arrest, time is of the essence as they’re effectively not receiving oxygen to their vital organs, including the brain. When we arrive at the scene of a cardiac arrest , by ambulance, air ambulance or the critical care car, those who are likely to survive are the ones who are already receiving CPR, either by a bystander, friend or loved one.”
West Midlands Ambulance Service Community Response Manager, Cliff Medlicott, said: “By training children at school that CPR is easy to do we make sure that they aren’t afraid should it ever happen to a loved one of theirs, but we also stress that they need to act immediately.
“We know that many of the children go home and tell their parents about what they have been up to and they in turn learn the skills which increases the chances of someone surviving.
“Our staff say saving a patient in cardiac arrest is the greatest success they can have so imagine what it would be like if your child made the difference to your life.
“Whilst we will be looking to train over 30,000 children on the 16th October, we also want every adult in the West Midlands to also learn this skill and also find out where their nearest defibrillator is. Together CPR and receiving a shock from a defib as soon as possible will give the bets chance of saving a person’s life.
Ian Roberts added: “We have already seen the impact having our Midlands Air Ambulance Charity critical care car can make to a patient in cardiac arrest. With an advanced critical care paramedic on board, the car was launched due to increased demand for advanced medical support in cardiac cases in Birmingham and the Black Country.
“The joint working between WMAS and MAAC is already saving lives, but having an additional 25,000 potential lifesavers can only help make a lifesaving difference.”
On Restart a Heart Day, staff from from West Midlands Ambulance Service, Midlands Air Ambulance and volunteers from many community first responder groups from across the region will be teaching children the life saveing skills which could make a difference to someone’s life.
Remember, on the day, post your training photos on social media and tag @MAA_Charity and @OFFICIALWMAS with #RestartAHeart.
Birmingham Live Journalist Alison Stacey being taught CPR by WMAS Community Response Manager Cliff Medlicott with Midlands Air Ambulance Critical Care Paramedic / Aircrew Supervisor Julian Spiers looking on.