Record month for resuscitations in the North East
Ambulance crews and public awareness of CPR techniques increase survival chances
NEAS records most successful month ever for successful
resuscitations in the North East.
Thirty-eight per cent of patients attended to by the North East
Ambulance Service in August were successfully resuscitated at the
scene - a record for the service.
Since 2010, successful resuscitations performed where a heart
has stopped beating have risen to 28% - an increase of 11%
The improved chances of survival are primarily due to ambulance
crews arriving quickly, and administering effective clinical
A greater awareness among the general population about CPR
techniques has also played a part.
A member of the public immediately performing CPR (chest
compressions and rescue breaths) when someone has suffered a
cardiac arrest can double a patient's chances of survival.
Paul Fell, Head of Clinical Care and Patient Safety, said: "The
steady rise in the cardiac arrest survival rate in the North East
is mainly due to call centre staff and ambulance crews identifying
and reaching these patients quickly, and delivering effective
clinical care on the scene before taking them to the best hospital
for further treatment.
"This year we've seen more people than ever attempting
CPR, which means that more patients are being given the best chance
of survival before ambulance staff arrive.
"Our work in the community last year enabled thousands of people
to learn lifesaving skills, while the British Heart Foundation's TV
advert starring Vinnie Jones was also very prominent."
NEAS clinically audits the proportion of cardiac arrest patients
who are successfully resuscitated on scene by an ambulance crew,
and then subsequently have a restored heart beat on arrival at
In 2010, 17% of patients in cardiac arrest in the North East
were successfully resuscitated. In 2011, this increased to
21%. And to date in 2012, 28% of patients in cardiac arrest have
been successfully resuscitated.
As a single month, August 2012 was the most successful for
resuscitations in the history of NEAS - reaching 38%
Lynsey McCabe, NEAS Community Resuscitation Manager, said: "Not
only are ambulance staff reaching people quickly and providing even
effective treatment, but ordinary people are saving lives too.
"Knowing how to save a life using hands-only CPR is one of the
most important skills you can learn, and the Vinnie advert shows
people just how simple it can be."
Ann Fox, Director of Clinical Care and Patient
Safety, said: "There are many reasons why a patient now has a
better chance of survival if they suffer a cardiac arrest when not
in a hospital.
"Our Control Room staff identify possible
cardiac arrest patients quickly, and crucially dispatch the
appropriate response. Our front line resources arrive at the
patient's side with minimal delay and initiate advanced life
"We stabilise patients before moving them in the
early minutes after the heart starts beating again, and we are
increasingly transferring suitable patients directly to specialist
heart hospitals. The figures prove unequivocally that prioritising
calls pays off."