Would you know what to do if someone suffered a cardiac arrest? It is estimated that approximately 30,000 people each year have cardiac arrests outside of hospital, with almost 4,000 of those taking place in our Region. Currently only one in three of these people will receive CPR from a bystander, prior to the arrival of ambulance crews.
West Midlands Ambulance Service is raising awareness around the importance of commencing chest compressions on someone suffering from a cardiac arrest as soon as possible. For every minute that basic life support is not provided the patient’s chances of survival reduces by 10%.
WMAS’ Head of Clinical Practice, Matt Ward, explains why early chest compressions are so important:
“When a cardiac arrest occurs the heart stops beating effectively. Whilst the heart is not beating toxins build up in the body and brain. You have approximately 8-10 minutes before this brain damage become irreversible.
Approximately 7% of people who suffer cardiac arrests survive. By providing CPR immediately this number can be significantly improved but we can only do this with help from the public.
Don’t be scared to start chest compressions. Many people worry and ask if they could hurt the patient but in cardiac arrest the patient only has one other option and that is death!“
Automated External Defibrillators (AED)
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable lifesaving device that checks a person’s heart rhythm and, if it’s not beating properly (Ventricular Fibrillation or VF), will shock it back to a normal rhythm.
At present within the area covered by West Midlands Ambulance Service there are over 2,400 defibrillators that the service is aware of. These defibrillators are housed in a whole variety of locations including sports facilities, schools, businesses (large and small), religious sites, tourist attractions and retail outlets to name but a few.
AEDs come in many different makes, colours and sizes but essentially they all do the same thing. These machines are extremely easy to use, meaning anyone can provide emergency care to someone in cardiac arrest quickly and effectively prior to the arrival of an ambulance.
Eighty-five percent of those people who suffer a cardiac arrest have the ability for their heart to be shocked back to a normal rhythm by defibrillation. The quicker CPR is carried out and a defibrillator used not only improves the chance of a patients’ survival but it can also help to improve the chances of them recovering fully and reduces the time to do so. For every minute a patient is in cardiac arrest, their chance of survival decreases by 10 percent.
Please take a few minutes to view the film footage below from our Trust and St. John Ambulance, it could help you to save someone’s life.
The following videos are hosted on an external website – YouTube
For more information about free HeartStart courses delivered by West Midlands Ambulance Service or to find out how your business, school or sports club can get a defibrillator installed please contact your local community response manager:
Birmingham and Black Country
Andy Jeynes – 07896 175 337
Coventry and Warwickshire
Bobby Qayum – 07795 027 284
Herefordshire and Worcestershire
Noel Orbel – 07980 094 808
Cliff Medlicott – 07884 050 877
Victoria Tufail – 07920 278 447
Matt Heward – 07793 040 310