Friday, 18th of May HeartSWell together with Brewin Dolphin underwent cardiopulmonary resuscitation – CPR and AED automatic external defibrillator – AED training with Sarah Dormer who is a Senior Resuscitation Nurse at Plymouth University NHS Trust Hospital at Derriford.
During the training, Sarah shared her knowledge around the importance of the public being able to perform CPR. Currently the survival rate for out of hospital cardiac arrest is 8%. If CPR is started between 3-5 minutes of cardiac arrest the chances of survival grows to 74%. For every minute that passes, there is a 10% drop in survival if defibrillator is not used on a patient who requires a shock. There is no time to wait for an ambulance!
According to the Resuscitation Council UK, ‘CPR is attempted in only 50% of incidents of cardiac arrest and use of a defibrillator by a bystander, only 4% of the time’. Many people don’t know how to perform CPR or simply don’t feel comfortable enough to perform CPR. Many people are not aware that there are defibrillators available in public places and many are unaware that you can use an AED even if you haven’t received training. If you think you could benefit from defibrillator in your office or community please fill in our quick and easy request form.
According to Sarah Dormer, to improve survival rates we need to follow the examples of the US, Canada and other parts of Europe where the vast majority of people are taught to perform Basic Life Support and how to use an AED. Most of these countries ensure that school leavers are certified in Basic Life Support – BLS and are competent AED users. In some of these areas survival rates are as high as 66%. In the UK, at present its down to individual schools to ensure this basic first aid skills are taught. Many still opt not to do this.
Brewin Dolphin South West offices kindly nominated HeartSWell South West as their charity of the year, having recently experienced the loss of a young colleague to a sudden heart attack whilst out running. Nominating us as their charity of the year is just the start of their efforts and campaign to raise awareness of the need for better knowledge and training in CPR and use of AEDs. The teams themselves have recognised the importance of undergoing training to ensure that they have the skills, knowledge and confidence to act if they were ever a bystander in a similar situation.
By educating people and providing defibrillators in the local areas survival could rise in our communities and across the UK to anywhere from 60-70%.