30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen every year in the UK, with just ten percent surviving.
For an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, sadly death occurs in minutes — unless a bystander performs CPR. (CPR). Performing CPR can more than double someone’s chances of survival and with those odds, the incentive to learn how to give life-saving care can’t be ignored.
I’ve been fortunate enough to experience the reviving care that timely CPR can give. In 2018, my 11-year-old son went into cardiac arrest outside of his school. While his friends acted quickly and called 999, it was an off-duty nurse, later joined by a local GP passing by, who gave him CPR and administered defibrillation (which belonged to the school) that saved his life until the ambulance arrived to take over.
Could you have helped in their position? Whilst they were both medical staff, what they did that day was not specialist medical care but a skill that we can all learn.
Cardiac arrests can happen anywhere and at any time but you’re most likely to have a cardiac arrest in your own home, simply because you’re bound to spend more time at your home than anywhere else.
So, I would urge everyone to make sure that if anyone falls victim to a cardiac arrest, we’re able to give critical care that could double their chances of survival.
Every year, the British Heart Foundation spearheads Restart-a-Heart Day: a full 24 hours dedicated to raising awareness of the life-saving care that each of us can learn to protect our loved ones.
For this important cause, the BHF works in conjunction with the Resuscitation Council UK, British Red Cross, St John Ambulance, the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, NHS England, Save a Life for Scotland, Save a Life Cymru, and Northern Ireland Ambulance.
This year, it takes place on Monday 16th October. I’m encouraging family, friends, and employees to take the time to learn a skill that could change your life by saving someone else’s.
There are approximately 100,000 defibrillators in the UK - but most of these are unknown or inaccessible to ambulance and emergency services. However, the BHF (amongst others) provides a list of defibrillators in your area and you are encouraged to familiarise yourself with this using this link: Defib finder – find the defibrillators nearest you.
Duncan & Toplis have for many years made defibrillators accessible to team members and the public in each of their offices across the East Midlands in an effort to save lives and safeguard communities, and I implore more workplaces to do the same.
Whether you choose to invest in easy-to-use equipment, such as defibrillators, learn CPR, or attend a first-aid training class to offer a more comprehensive frontline response, every second counts.
It doesn’t have to be something you do alone, by any means. You can join a community group or ask your workplace about the CPR training options available to you. However, if you’re short on time or want to take immediate action to safeguard your family and friends, you can learn CPR in just 15 minutes with the British Heart Foundation's new online training tool RevivR™.
I know I’m backed firmly by the British Heart Foundation and my son when I ask you to take a moment to consider how you can best help those around you as we approach Restart-a-Heart Day 2023.
Join the conversation: #LetsTalk cardiac care to #RestartAHeart.