Some Frightening Statistics

There are a huge number of statistics that show the risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and why defibrillators are so important and should be available in public buildings, leisure centres, workplaces, schools and community areas across the UK, to name a few.

  • 270 children die in the UK every year after suffering SCA at school.

  • Approximately 60,000 Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrests (OHCA) occur every year in the UK.

  • In England alone, the Ambulance Service attempts resuscitation in around 30,000 OHCA cases, annually

  • Approximately 80% of OHCAs. occur at Home; 20% will occur in public places.

  • Without immediate treatment, 90-95% of SCA victims will die

  • If a defibrillator is used and effective Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is performed within 3-5 minutes of cardiac arrest, the chance of a victim surviving increases from 6% to 74%.

  • Only 22% of people in the UK would be confident in performing CPR on a stranger.

Response Times And Their Importance

  • The emergency services average response time to a cardiac event related incident in an urban area is 11 minutes.

  • Without effectively applied CPR, in the absence of a defibrillator being used, virtually no-one will survive for 11 minutes in cardiac arrest.

  • For every minute that goes by where a victim of SCA does not receive treatment, their chance of survival decreases by 10%.

  • If defibrillation through a defibrillator occurs within 1 minute of the victim collapsing, the victim’s survival rate increases to 90%.

  • For defibrillation to be successful, it needs to be delivered within a few minutes of the patient’s heart entering into Ventricular Fibrillation (VF), but this period can be extended if a bystander provides effective CPR without delay or hesitancy.

  • The likelihood of causing harm to the patient by performing CPR or using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is very small.

  • Basic first aid will maintain an oxygen supply to the patient’s brain and other vital organs and make it more likely that the heart can be restarted by a defibrillator.

  • The main reasons so few people survive SCA is due to effectively applied CPR and defibrillation NOT being provided quickly enough after they have collapsed

  • A word of warning – if you think that what you see on TV dramas, where CPR is being given, is anything like reality you are seriously mistaken. There is no substitute for proper, hands-on, training!

SCA Risk Factors

  • There are usually no prior warning signs associated with SCA.

  • Factors such as the patient’s current health condition, gender, age and ethnicity do not factor in when determining the cause of SCA.

  • Most SCAs are due to an abnormality of the heart’s electrical rhythm called Ventricular Fibrillation (VF).

  • Physically strenuous jobs will put people at a higher risk of falling victim to SCA.

  • Factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, high cholesterol levels, congenital heart disease (CHD) and diabetes can make a person more susceptible to SCA.

  • Additional things such as electrocution, drowning, trauma, choking or respiratory arrest can potentially lead to SCA.

The above has been adapted from the Defib Shop Website

Following my Sudden, and completely unheralded, Cardiac Arrest in April 2017 I purchased an AED from this supplier – and hope to never need it!

Click here to read what happened on that eventful day – Malcolm’s Story

Malcolm Robinson