The January 2017 edition of RESUSCITATION, The Official Journal of The European Resuscitation Council published a paper “Epidemiology and outcomes from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in England.”
The authors confirmed that the chances of anyone surviving an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in England were less than 10% out of 28,729 cases attended by ten English Ambulance Service regions in one year.
Here’s the study’s results for the technically minded:
28,729 OHCA cases of ambulance-attended cardiac arrests were reported (53 per 100,000 of resident population). The mean age was 68.6 (SD = 19.6) years and 41.3% were female. Most (83%) occurred in a place of residence, 52.7% were witnessed by either the paramedics or a bystander. In non-paramedic-witnessed cases, 55.2% received bystander CPR whilst public access defibrillation was used rarely (2.3%). Cardiac aetiology was the leading cause of cardiac arrest (60.9%). The initial rhythm was asystole in 42.4% of all cases and was shockable (VF or pVT) in 20.6%. Return of spontaneous circulation at hospital transfer was evident in 25.8% (n = 6302) and survival to hospital discharge was 7.9%.
And the authors’ conclusion:
Cardiac arrest is an important cause of death in England. With less than one in ten patients surviving, there is scope to improve outcomes. Survival rates were highest amongst those who received bystander CPR and public access defibrillation.
What isn’t mentioned above is the quality of CPR given by bystanders. Pretty much everyone who attends a training course is surprised to find how much more energetic it is to do than they imagined. What you see on TV hospital dramas rarely represents reality. Even true-life programmes, such as the excellent Ambulance, rarely show it in full. It’s even been reported that 30% of people wouldn’t even have a go! PLEASE DON’T BE ONE OF THESE.
Cardiac arrest survival is less than 10% in the UK but other studies have found it to be 30% in Amsterdam & Copenhagen. This is why we, at CPR Counts, want to see more CPR training & public access defibrillator use in our country.
ALSO, remember this. The chances of anyone surviving a cardiac arrest decrease by 10% for every minute that CardioPulmonary Resuscitation is delayed. That time is much lessened if brain damage is also to be prevented.
Ultimately, it’s up to YOU. We can only teach those who sign up for our two-hour courses.
There is NO SUBSTITUTE for proper HANDS-ON experience which you’ll get at any of the courses around the UK being run by like-minded volunteers such as our team.