According to the British Heart Foundation 545 people will be taken to a UK hospital today, having suffered a heart attack. , Unfortunately 180 of those will die.
There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year in the UK, with an overall survival rate less than 1 in 10.
In order to maximise the chance of survival BHF recommends “The Chain of Survival”.
This four step approach spans the period before an incident through the recovery period.
Step one: Early recognition and call for help
As an employer do you have staff trained to recognise the symptoms of a heart attack and would they know what to do in the event that a colleague, customer or member of the public needed help?
Step two: Early CPR
First aid training no longer teaches “the kiss of life” something that often put off volunteers. Instead, trainees are taught CPR, a technique for ensuring that oxygenated blood is manually pumped around the body, to reduce the risk of brain damage and organ failure, until the heart can be re-started. This has recently been demonstrated on television in the Vinnie Jones “Staying Alive” commercial.
Performing CPR can double the chances of survival in some cases.
Step three: Early Defibrillation
The average response time for an ambulance in the UK is 7 minutes. Add to that the time it takes to determine what is wrong, summon help and make the call and it could be over ten minutes before medical help arrives on the scene.
It is for that reason that many employers now provide defibrillators on their premises.
Unlike in the movies, modern defibrillators only work on persons where the heart has stopped. They are also very simple to use, and many provide audible step by step instructions.
Every minute without cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation reduces the chance of survival by up to 10 per cent.
Step Four: Post Resuscitation Care
Professional medical care is vital to ensuring survival. However, there are very few survivors who fail to make significant lifestyle changes following a heart attack.
A good diet and exercise are essential to maintaining good health.
For further information on first aid training contact THSP’s training department on 03456 122144