Kalmed Clinic – Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest

In Scotland this month 575 people will die from a cardiac arrest and the vast majority of these victims will die before reaching the hospital. 

By Dr Kyle Lifson, Kalmed Clinic

Community Cardiac Arrest Facts: 

  • Less than 2% will receive life-saving defibrillation before the ambulance arrives.
  • Less than 40% of UK victims receive bystander CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation).
  • Ambulance services respond to approximately 60,000 community cases of suspected cardiac arrest annually (UK).
  • Resuscitation is only attempted by ambulance crews in less than 50% of these victims, 50% are already dead.
  • Less than 10% of victims survive to be discharged from hospital in the UK compared to 20-25% in other countries where there is greater public awareness, CPR training and provision of public access automated external defibrillators (AED). 

In Japan, the government has promoted a large-scale campaign for CPR training and public access defibrillation, including: 

  • Active promotion of the safety of the public using defibrillators
  • The number of public access defibrillators has increased from 10,961 to 428,821 (2005- 2013)
  • The percentage of patients receiving shocks from public access defibrillators increased from 1.1% in 2005 to 16.5% in 2013. 

In Japan there are approximately 1 public access defibrillators per 300 people compared to 1 public access defibrillators per 7000 people in the UK and 1 per 10,000 in Scotland. 

This guidelines from the 2015 UK Resuscitation Council website for adult basic life support and AED are informative and contain easy emergency steps to follow. 

The 5 main actions required to improving UK survival from community cardiac arrests are: 

  1. All school children taught CPR and how to use an AED 
  2. All people who are able should be taught CPR 
  3. Widespread placement of public access defibrillators 
  4. Defibrillators should all be nationally registered online 
  5. Ambulance service can deploy the nearest available defibrillator to the scene 

Having spent 30 years as a doctor working in pre-hospital, general practice, hospitals and undertaking cardiology research in heart attacks, I have been involved in thousands of cardiac arrests across the divide of community and hospitals. I have seen vast improvements in the management of heart attack patients within the NHS and in Scotland we are extremely fortunate to have cardiology centers of excellence where patients reach receive the highest level of cardiac care. 

Sadly, this has not been matched by major improvements in the community in terms of cardiac arrest victim survival. We require a high-level commitment to provide the above 5 actions to raise awareness of the key issues in the Chain of Survival. 

Please make a difference and get involved with the Save a Life for Scotland Campaign, British Heart Foundation CPR / Defibrillator training schemes and the tremendous work of the Trossachs Search and Rescue Team who provide free community training and have provided 100 public access defibrillators in the Trossachs and surrounding areas.

Free Defibrillator training session at Springfield House, Stirling FK7 9JQ, February 9th at 10am.

In partnership with Dr. Kyle Lifson (MBChB, MRCP, MRCGP) of Kalmed Clinic, Ceteris is delighted to offer a FREE Defibrillator training session at Springfield House, Stirling on Friday February 9th at 10am.

Dr. Kyle Lifson has over 20 years’ experience as an NHS Dispensing GP plus extensive Hospital and Travel Medicine experience gained throughout his career.

The training will take approximately 60-90 minutes and cover basic life support / cardiac arrest CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) and the use of the automated external defibrillator (AED). Training will be relaxed, informal and start with a 10 minute brief and quick demonstration prior to attendees recieving hands on CPR and defib training with training mannequins.

De-mystifying the use of the defibrillator is key as is highlighting how safe and easy to use they are. Indeed they will only discharge a shock in the presence of a shockable event.

These devices can now be found in shopping malls / public places for use by members of the public in the event of a cardiac arrest. They are also available at various places of work, and if unsure of your nearest defib, the Scottish Ambulance service are able to direct users to the closest one in the event of a cardiac arrest, prior to the ambulance arriving.

No need to book, simply show up on the day.

You can find defibrillators at Ceteris properties Springfield House (supplied by Kalmed Clinic), the Alloa Business Centre, e-Centre Alloa and The Trade Centre Alloa.