Would you know what to do if you saw someone suffering a cardiac arrest?

#RestartAHeartDay is an annual initiative led by the Resuscitation Council (UK) and takes place this Wednesday (16th October). It aims to improve the low numbers of people surviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.

An alliance of organisations all over the world are organising and facilitating training events to increase the public’s awareness of cardiac arrests, whilst increasing the number of people trained in providing life-saving chest compressions and defibrillation.

The importance of early chest compressions and defibrillation

David Little’s story is a true example of a patient having an intact ‘Chain of Survival (see diagram below). He received immediate chest compressions, early defibrillation, post resuscitation stabilisation and was transferred directly to a specialist heart hospital (which had the capability to provide procedures on his coronary arteries). Without any of these links in David’s emergency treatment, he would not have survived.

Last year, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance attended 157 patients who had suffered a cardiac arrest. 71 of these patients survived to hospital. The survivors from these events all had early chest compressions and early defibrillation. This underlines the vital importance of every link in the chain of survival.

How can you get involved?

The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) will be running free Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training events across the South West for Restart a Heart Day on Wednesday 16th October. Members of our Critical Care Team will be supporting these events at the following venues in Dorset and Somerset:

  • Dolphin Shopping Centre, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1SZ (10am – 5pm)
  • Hestercombe Gardens, Hestercombe, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset TA2 8LG (10am – 4pm)

We are encouraging members of the public to get involved by popping along to any of the venues listed, where you will be given free CPR training on the day.

In the management of cardiac arrest, early chest compressions and defibrillation are crucial to a patient’s outcome. When the stakes are this high, don't think twice, just try. #RestartAHeart