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I was delighted that a motion I put forward to the SASC Conference on 24th May, to call for the Government to act to ensure defibrillators are kept accessible in all public places, keep CPR on the curriculum and train more people to use AED defibrillators, was passed.
I’ve worked in emergency medicine now for 22 years and have kept my ear to the ground with developments in CPR and the use of automated external defibrillators, or AEDs. An AED is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm.
A study was undertaken a few years back in Las Vegas on CPR and the importance of AED, where they trained all the bouncers in performing CPR and how to use the AED. The key factor really is using AED.
What they found was, if you have a shockable rhythm, and if you are delivering shock within three to five minutes, the chances of survival was more than 70 to 80 percent. That’s an incredible figure. After that time, the percentage falls rapid as time goes by.
The importance lies in the accessibility of AED, and the basic training of how to use it. I strongly believe in keeping it a part of the curriculum in schools, so that every citizen knows how to use it, should they ever need to. It can save a life and should become second nature for everybody to use. Doing CPR alone is not going to get life back.
The passing of this motion means a call on the Government to act to:
It’s hugely beneficial to the community and can prevent lots of young people dying of heart attacks.
The Las Vegas study referred to above was undertaken in 2000. The data showed 59% survival to hospital discharge in patients found in VF arrest. The defibrillation was provided within 4.4 minutes after collapse. They found if defibrillation was performed within three minutes, the survival rate was 74%. If performed after three minutes, it decreased to 49%. For further information, leave a comment in the box below.
This is an important article showed how useful is to update all Doctor and the allied health professionals on advanced life support and on the new defibrillators. The article showed as well the level of participation of SAS Doctors in addressing the wider issues in the NHS.
Dr. Amer Jafar, FRCP
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