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The tale of the dog behind the 'kiss of life' discovery - BBC News

The tale of the dog behind the 'kiss of life' discovery - BBC News | First Aid Training | Scoop.it

There are about 30,000 cardiac arrests every year in the UK and ten times that number in the US. It is one of the most common ways to die.

It is also one of the most common scenarios in which a bystander can save a life through CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the technique used to keep blood and oxygen pumping round the body until emergency help arrives.

This 'kiss of life' has an intriguing history stretching back over 100 years to when electricity was first being installed in domestic homes and, in part, it owes its discovery to the fate of an unnamed lab dog.

Throughout the early 1900s an electrical revolution hit America, and homes became populated with electrical appliances - everything from light bulbs to refrigerators.

But, on the down side, electrocution was a major risk to people working on the newly-installed power lines. Many died of cardiac arrests.

Shock tactics

As a result, external defibrillators had been invented to shock the heart back into rhythm without opening the chest - but they were too big and cumbersome to use outside of hospitals.

In the 1950s, the Edison Electric Institute in the US decided to sponsor researchers to investigate the effects of electrical currents on the heart.

Enter Guy Knickerbocker, a fastidious, 29-year-old graduate working under electrical engineer William Kouwenhoven in one of the labs at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. They were trying to improve the external defibrillator, which Kouwenhoven had invented a few years earlier.

In 1958, before the ethical treatment of animals became a serious consideration, their experiments involved testing on laboratory dogs.

Knickerbocker, now 86 years old, remembers working with a colleague one day when, suddenly, one of the dogs went into cardiac arrest, or ventricle fibrillation (VF).

Thanks to a unnamed dog, Knickerbocker and his colleagues discovered how to slow down the dying process in the 1950s

Normally when this happened, they would use a defibrillator to shock the dog's heart back into rhythm - but that day they were in the lab on the 12th floor and the equipment was on the fifth floor.

The notoriously slow lifts in the building meant they would never get the defibrillator to the dog in time.

"There is very little chance of survival after cardiac arrest that goes on longer than five minutes," says Knickerbocker.

'Sprang to life'

Knickerbocker had a brainwave. Only a few weeks earlier he had observed that just the pressure of the defibrillator paddles on the dog's chest caused a change in blood pressure.

Did this change in pressure mean that the blood was moving around the body?

He took a chance: "We started to pump the dog's chest because it seemed to be the right thing to do."

Knickerbocker raced along the stairs to the fifth floor to get the defibrillator while his colleagues pressed the dog's chest for 20 minutes - four times longer than any previous successful attempt.

When he arrived back with the defibrillator and administered two shocks, the dog sprang back to life.

The importance of their discovery cannot be overstated; the experiment established beyond doubt that rhythmic pressing of the chest could sustain life.

Knickerbocker says: "We had found a way to slow down the dying process, and give people time to receive defibrillation".

From pooch to people

Knickerbocker excitedly shared his discovery with cardiac surgeon, Dr Jim Jude, who worked in the next-door lab.

Dr Jude immediately realised its potential, and along with Kouwenhoven, set about working out exactly where to push, how often, and how much force to apply - and found they could extend a dog's life for more than an hour.


"I didn't believe the chest compression technique would ever translate to humans, and neither did a lot of my colleagues," he says today.

This included the head of surgery at Johns Hopkins at that time who wanted the team to provide a lot of evidence before he let them publish their findings.

However Dr Jude was convinced the dog-saving technique could work on people.

The chest compression technique, he realised, could be used to simulate up to 40% of normal cardiac activity. The only problem was that there was no-one to test it on.

A little over a year later, a 35-year-old woman, who was admitted for a gall bladder operation at Johns Hopkins, reacted badly to the anaesthetic and went into cardiac arrest.

Dr Jude immediately began applying rhythmic, manual pressure to her chest. Within two minutes her heart started again and she went on to have the operation and make a full recovery.

'Happy and proud'

This led Kouwenhoven, Jude and Knickerbocker to publish their discovery in a paper in 1960.

"Anyone, anywhere, can now initiate cardiac resuscitative procedures," the authors concluded. "All that is needed are two hands."

In collaboration with another research group who were looking at ventilation techniques, they developed modern CPR.

Now it is taught across the world and in some countries it is also taught in schools.

The American Heart Association estimates that CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim's chance of survival.

 

 

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First aid training will be compulsory for all nursery staff | Nursery World

First aid training will be compulsory for all nursery staff | Nursery World | First Aid Training | Scoop.it
The plans are in response to a campaign by Joanne and Dan Thompson, whose daughter Millie died after choking at a nursery in 2012.

More than 100,000 people signed the couple’s online petition calling for compulsory first aid training.

All Level 2 and Level 3 staff will be required to have an emergency paediatric first aid or a full paediatric first aid certificate if they are to count towards the staff-qualification ratios in the EYFS. Currently early years providers must have one first-aider on the premises at all times.

The emergency first aid training course would be equivalent to one day's training and will need to be refreshed by staff every three years to count towards the ratios.

The Thompsons have also given their backing to a new first aid certificate in memory of their daughter.

Early years settings will be able to display ‘Millie’s Mark’ as a sign of gold-standard provision.

The DfE will look into how this would be awarded and its scope, and the scheme is expected to run from early next year.

A consultation on the training proposals will take place during the next Parliament and they are expected to come into effect by September 2016.

The National Day Nurseries Association has also developed guidance and case studies with funding from the DfE.

The Government has also extended a special deal, previously only available to schools, to enable private and voluntary providers and out-of-school and holiday clubs, to buy defibrillators at a reduced cost.

Childcare and education minister Sam Gyimah said, ‘Today’s proposals will mean that thousands more staff will be able to respond to emergencies more quickly, making sure parents really can access the very best possible childcare choices for their families.

‘Not only will this help ensure children are safe while they learn, grow and develop, but it will also raise the quality and skills of the early years workforce to help them deal with day to day first aid issues such allergies and knowing when to call parents.’
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Public Access Defibrillation Underutilized in Cardiac Arrest

Public Access Defibrillation Underutilized in Cardiac Arrest | First Aid Training | Scoop.it
(HealthDay News) — In out-of-hospital (OOH) cardiac arrest, public access defibrillation (PAD) prior to ambulance arrival may be only rarely used, according to a study published online February 19 in Heart.

Charles D. Deakin, MD, from South Central Ambulance Service in Otterbourne, U.K., and colleagues ascertained the availability and effective use of PAD in all OOH cardiac arrests in Hampshire over a 12-month period. To establish the known presence of PAD, emergency calls were reviewed; in addition, a review of all known PAD locations in Hampshire was undertaken.

The researchers found that 673 known PADs were located in 278 Hampshire locations during the study period. Of the 1,035 calls confirmed as cardiac arrest, access to an automated external defibrillator was reported in 4.25% of calls (44 occasions). The automated external defibrillator was successfully retrieved and used before ambulance arrival in 1.74% of cases (18 occasions).

"This study highlights the need for both improved PAD availability and the need to improve bystander confidence in the use of these devices," the authors write. "With survival from OOH cardiac arrest doubling in cases where PAD is used, there is a need to improve PAD availability, publicize locations and support bystanders in deploying the device."

One author disclosed financial ties to South Central Ambulance Service and Prometheus Medical.
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Grandfather saved by CPR training

Grandfather saved by CPR training | First Aid Training | Scoop.it

A GRANDFATHER has told how he would be "eternally grateful" to the woman who saved his life after he collapsed in a Falmouth restaurant.

John Ollernshaw, from Flushing, would have died if a member of staff from Princess Pavilion had not resuscitated him during a cardiac arrest in November.

John Ollernshaw and wife Sylvia, with Ceinwen Morgans, who performed CPR on him after he collapsed.

 

Catering team leader Ceinwen Morgans started CPR on the 82-year-old within minutes of the arrest, having been trained in first aid just a few weeks earlier.

Mr Ollernshaw said: "I guess I was in the right place at the right time.

 

"If it had happened somewhere else, who knows what the chances of finding someone who knew what to do would have been.

"I will be eternally grateful to that young lady and the fact she had completed the first aid course."

Mr Ollernshaw's wife, Sylvia, credited Ms Morgans with saving his life.

"He went straight down and the girl just started resuscitating him immediately until the paramedics came," she said. "She cracked two of his ribs in the process and she had to keep going for a considerable amount of time. It was that which saved his life.

"We have been told that if the waitress hadn't been trained he would have died before the paramedic arrived.

"It was just amazing really, it seemed like it was just instinctive for her which was marvellous."

It was the first time Ms Morgans, from Falmouth, had put her training into practical use since completing the course. She said: "It all just happened so quickly and luckily I knew what to do. Nothing can prepare you for the real thing. I think my adrenalin carried me through and I was able to just get on with it but afterwards it was a little bit traumatising.

"If there hadn't been someone like me there that day then John would have died and his family would have faced Christmas and the new year without him."

Mr Ollernshaw, a dad of two and grandfather of three, had to be defibrillated on the way to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro. In the ambulance, his wife was warned he was unlikely to survive the night.

"Our local vicar came with me to the hospital and by the time we got there the staff had managed to get him going on the machines because he wasn't able to do it himself," said Mrs Ollernshaw.

He remained on life support for four days before he was able to breathe on his own, then spent almost a month in hospital, during which he underwent heart-bypass surgery.

Alison Brown, cardiac rehab nurse at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, said: "It is fantastic that he was in a public place where there was someone who had been recently trained in CPR."

 

 

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Heathrow is the safest place in London to have a cardiac arrest

The London Ambulance Service has declared Heathrow Airport as having the highest cardiac arrest survival rate in London, outside of hospital.

The airport has 180 heart-starting defibrillators, over 100 first aid-trained front line staff and a specialist team of 15 bicycle-riding London Ambulance Service paramedics.

 

Recent statistics show that the Heathrow Cycle Response Unit reached 93.6% of the most serious and life-threatening emergencies at the airport within eight minutes – far exceeding the national target of 75% within that time frame.  The overall cardiac arrest survival rate in London in 2011/12 was 10.9% and in Heathrow was 74%.

 

The bicycling paramedics treated almost 900 passengers out of the 6.5m that travelled in June – with more than a fifth being treated for life-threatening conditions.  It is reported that passengers are never more than two minutes away from a defibrillator.

 

London Ambulance Service Community Resuscitation Training Officer Martin Bullock said:  “We’ve been working with Heathrow Airport for over ten years and thanks to the defibrillators, its first aid-trained staff and our cycle responders, it has one of the highest cardiac arrest survival rates in the world.  The survival rate witnessed for cardiac arrests at the airport is six times as high as in London overall.”

 

If a passenger is believed to be in a life-threatening condition, the onsite ambulance is called at the same time to ensure additional helps arrives as soon as possible.  In less serious cases, the bicycle paramedic or emergency medical technician is sent initially on their own and can then request further assistance if required.

 

Heathrow also encourages its staff to participate in company-wide first aid courses.

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Understanding Defibrillators (AEDs)

Understanding Defibrillators (AEDs) | First Aid Training | Scoop.it

A defibrillator is a life saving device that issues a electrical shock to the heart in some cases of cardiac arrest. This process is called defibrillation and can help save lives. Cardiac arrest happens when the heart stops pumping bloody around the body. At this time it is critical that defibrillation happens as soon as possible.

This electrical shock depolarizes a critical mass of the heart muscle, terminates the arrhythmia, and allows the natural rhythm  of the heart to be re-established by the body’s organic pacemaker, in the sinoatrial node of the heart.

According to the British heart foundation for every minute that a patient is not giving defibrillation their chances of survival decrease by 14 per cent. In fact research also show that’s providing a shock within five minutes of the patient collapsing provide the best chance of survival.

Defibrillators can come in many forms and sizes. These can be external, transvenous, or implanted. This will all depend on the device used. The most common devices are called automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and because they automate the defibrillation process, by automation of the treatable rhythms, meaning that bystanders or people with very little or no training at all can use them.

Because of the importance of the defibrillators and the low numbers available, it is vital that these devices are strategically placed within an area. These are often placed where an ambulance would find it difficult to get to -  i.e.,  placed with traffic congestion, poor infrastructure, or where large crowds gather.

Defibrillation was first successfully performed in 1899 by two physiologists in Switzerland. It was found that small electrical shocks could induce ventricular fibrillation in dogs. However, it wasn’t until 1933 that a serious alternative to injecting powerful drugs straight to the heart. Dr Albert Hyman came up with the invention of a hollow needle, an insulated wire to the heart to deliver the electrical shocks.

These days Defibrillators have come a long way from the Hyman days. In order to use the AED, the machine is turned on and then a voice prompt will instruct the rescuer on what to do. The voice prompts the rescuer to place the pads into position on the chest and these then detect if a shock is needed by reading activity in the heart.

Defibrillation should never be seen as an alternative to to CPR, which can help by time before defibrillation is needed. The British Heart Foundation state that if more GP surgeries were equipped with defibrillators that survival could be increased by up to 60 per cent if the patient is treated immediately after entering cardiac arrest.

AED’s are often placed in highly visible areas and it is not recommended that these should be placed in locked or code restricted cabinets as this makes them inaccessible in time of emergency where the time taken is of essence. AED’s are often brightly coloured, and are often encased in protective cases. When these protective cases are opened nearby staff are alerted by a buzzer.

 

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Stafford Borough Council - Man speaks of night NOT to remember

Stafford Borough Council - Man speaks of night NOT to remember | First Aid Training | Scoop.it

A Stone man has now spoken of the night he nearly died at his local gym.

Russell Follows said if it hadn’t been for a quick thinking fitness instructor he wouldn’t be alive today.

Mr Follows suffered a cardiac arrest in the changing rooms of the borough council run Westbridge Park Fitness Centre. But local instructor, Lee Nicklin used CPR and an on-site defibrillator to keep the man alive until an ambulance took him to University of North Staffs hospital.

Speaking about the incident Mr Follows, 55, said: “Thanks to Lee I’m still here and in the world.”

Stafford Borough Council provides defibrillators at a number of its premises including all leisure centres, the Civic Centre, Gatehouse Theatre and the crematorium on Tixall Road with around 70 members of staff trained to use them.

Mr Follows continued: “I’m coming to terms with what’s happened. I can’t remember anything from that night, not even driving to the gym, or using the gym.”

“He acted immediately and did enough that evening to save my life and I can only say a million thank yous. And even that’s not enough. He is a genuinely nice guy, and got very emotional when I went in and thanked him last week.”

Mr Follows said how defibrillators are a much needed piece of equipment: “I’m just grateful that as well as Lee there was a defibrillator on hand which is there for everyone to use in emergencies – and as you can see they save lives.”

But the incident has not put him off using the gym: “I enjoy the gym so it’s hard not to go, but I’ve been told to take it easy. So I’m not going to over do it just yet.”

Mr Follows left hospital on Saturday 2 March after under going surgery where he was fitted with a mini defibrillator, following the cardiac arrest last month: “Having the defibrillator fitted was a big decision to make, but really it’s a no brainer it’s like a comfort blanket in case anything happens again. Plus it’s also peace of mind for my family.”

Lee, 39 said: “It was all part of the job. We are trained to use the defibrillators and knowing that it saved Russell’s life demonstrates how important the machine and our regular training is.”

He continued: “It was just so emotional and great to see Russell when he came back into the gym with a thank you card.”

Councillor Mike Smith, cabinet member for leisure, said: “We had a similar incident happen in Stafford several years ago, and it just highlights how important defibrillators are.”

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Is Hands On Defibrillation Safe (giving CPR during defibrillation)?

Is Hands On Defibrillation Safe (giving CPR during defibrillation)? | First Aid Training | Scoop.it
One of the important aspects of advanced life support is minimisation of the interruptions to CPR.
Hands on defibrillation has been suggested as being a safe means of achieving this, however Sullivan (2012) suggests that this may not be as safe as expected.
4 different types of gloves were tested (chloroprene, latex, nitrile and vinyl) with 2 current levels being passed through them (0.1 mA and 10 mA). 45% of single gloves and 77% of double gloves allowed current flow of 0.1 mA within the normal defibrillation voltage range. 7.5% of single gloves and 6.2% of double gloves allowed current flow over 10 mA.
A significant proportion of all gloves tested showed current flow across them, and even if no sensation was felt, it does not guarentee a safety margin.
Take home message - Hands on defibrillation is not entirely safe, so it's back to minimisation rather than elimination of the pause for defibrillation.
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Prolonged CPR Efforts May Be Beneficial, Study Says

Prolonged CPR Efforts May Be Beneficial, Study Says | First Aid Training | Scoop.it

When a hospital patient goes into cardiac arrest, one of the most difficult questions facing the medical team is how long to continue cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Now a new study involving hundreds of hospitals suggests that many doctors may be giving up too soon.

The study found that patients have a better chance of surviving in hospitals that persist with CPR for just nine minutes longer, on average, than hospitals where efforts are halted earlier.

There are no clear, evidence-based guidelines for how long to continue CPR efforts.

The findings challenge conventional medical thinking, which holds that prolonged resuscitation for hospitalized patients is usually futile because when patients do survive, they often suffer permanent neurological damage. To the contrary, the researchers found that patients who survived prolonged CPR and left the hospital fared as well as those who were quickly resuscitated.

The study, published online Tuesday in The Lancet, is one of the largest of its kind and one of the first to link the duration of CPR efforts with survival rates. It should prompt hospitals to review their practices and consider changes if their resuscitation efforts fall short, several experts said.

Between one and five of every 1,000 hospitalized patients suffer a cardiac arrest. Generally they are older and sicker than nonhospitalized patients who suffer cardiac arrest, and their outcomes are generally poor, with fewer than 20 percent surviving to be discharged from the hospital.

“One of the challenges we face during an in-hospital cardiac arrest is determining how long to continue resuscitation if a patient remains unresponsive,” said Dr. Zachary D. Goldberger, the lead author of the new study, which was financed by the American Hospital Association, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. “This is one area in which there are no guidelines.”

Dr. Goldberger and his colleagues gathered data from the world’s largest registry of in-hospital cardiac arrest, maintained by the American Heart Association, identifying 64,339 patients who went into cardiac arrest at 435 hospitals in the United States from 2000 to 2008.

The researchers examined adult hospital patients in regular beds or intensive care units, excluding patients in the emergency room and those who suffered arrest during procedures. They calculated the median duration of resuscitation efforts for the nonsurvivors rather than the survivors, in order to measure a hospital’s tendency to engage in more prolonged resuscitation efforts.

One of the first surprises was the significant variation in duration of CPR among the hospitals, ranging from a median of 16 minutes in hospitals spending the least amount of time trying to revive patients to a median of 25 minutes among those spending the most — a difference of more than 50 percent.

The researchers initially thought they would find that some patients were being subjected to protracted resuscitation efforts in vain, said the senior author, Dr. Brahmajee Nallamothu, an associate professor at the University of Michigan and a cardiologist at the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center.

But as it turned out, those extra minutes made a positive difference. Patients in hospitals with the longest CPR efforts were 12 percent more likely to survive and go home from the hospital than those with the shortest times.

Dr. Nallamothu and his colleagues found that neurological function was similar, regardless of the duration of CPR.

The patients who got the most added benefit from prolonged CPR were those whose conditions do not respond to defibrillation, or being shocked. The extra time spent on prolonged CPR may give doctors time to analyze the situation and try different interventions, they said.

“You can keep circulating blood and oxygen using CPR for sometimes well over 30 minutes and still end up with patients who survive and, importantly, have good neurological survival,” said Dr. Jerry P. Nolan, a consultant in anesthesia and critical care medicine at Royal United Hospital NHS Trust in Bath, England, who wrote a commentary accompanying the article.

Dr. Stephen J. Green, associate chairman of cardiology at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, who was not involved in the study, said hospitals might have to modify their practices in light of the new research.

“You don’t want to be on the low end of this curve,” Dr. Green said. “Hospitals that are outliers should reassess what they’re doing and think about extending the duration of their CPR.”

Still, he and other experts worried that the new findings could lead to protracted efforts to resuscitate patients for whom it is inappropriate because they are at the end of their lives or for other reasons.

“There isn’t going to be a magic number,” Dr. Green said. “If you’re in there 10 to 15 minutes, you need to push higher, but as you get up higher and higher, you get to the point of very little return.”

The study authors acknowledge that their research does not indicate that longer CPR is better for every patient.

“The last thing we want is for the take-home message to be that everyone should have a long resuscitation,” Dr. Goldberger said. “We’re not able to identify an optimal duration for all patients in the hospital.”

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Thousands of cardiac arrest victims die needlessly

Thousands of cardiac arrest victims die needlessly | First Aid Training | Scoop.it

A new survey has found almost a fifth of Brits don't know what it is and 45 per cent are not confident enough to perform it

Thousands of Brits are needlessly dying from cardiac arrests because too many people have no idea how to perform CPR, experts warn.

A new study has found that almost a fifth of Brits - 18% - do not know what CPR is and 60% have never been trained how to do it.

Experts say that if CPR was made compulsory at secondary schools, up to 5,000 lives a year could be saved.

Catherine Kelly, director of prevention, survival and support at the British Heart Foundation, said: “In the UK, less than 1 in 10 people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest.

“However in Norway, where CPR is taught in secondary schools, the survival figure is as high as one in four.

“That’s why it’s the BHF’s ambition to teach CPR to all young people in secondary schools across the UK.

“Training secondary school children in CPR could help to save lives. If we achieve the survival rates seen in countries where secondary school training is mandatory we could contribute to helping save an additional 5,000 lives each year.”

The research by ITV’s Good Morning Britain reveals that just under half - 45% - of us do not feel confident to carry out CPR on someone who has had a cardiac arrest.

A third - 35% - said they would be worried that attempting CPR could make things worse.

The OnePoll survey for Good Morning Britain was commissioned to launch of the Heels 4 Hearts campaign, which aims to give pupils in UK secondary schools and sixth forms the opportunity to learn CPR.

Heels 4 Hearts, which is supported by the British Heart Foundation, aims to encourage the public to donate unwanted shoes to BHF shops during the campaign. Money raised by the shoes will help fund CPR kits for schools.

Throughout this week on Good Morning Britain, presenters will hear from people whose lives have been saved by CPR, meet pupils who are being taught CPR skills and interview celebrities with personal experience of heart disease.

Other findings from the survey of 5,000 people revealed that eight out of ten - 83% - people agree it should be compulsory to learn CPR in school.

Also 40% of those asked believed ovarian or breast cancer was the biggest single killer of women when in fact coronary heart disease kills three times as many women as breast cancer.

Celebrities including Sir Tom Jones, Dame Kelly Holmes and Dame Helen Mirren have already pledged their support for Heels 4 Hearts and will be donating shoes to the campaign.

Ms Kelly, of the BHF, added: “It’s shocking that 60% of the population have not been trained in CPR and that 45% do not feel confident to carry out CPR on someone who has had a cardiac arrest.

“Knowing how to react when you’re faced with a cardiac arrest can mean the difference between life and death. That’s why we’re urging everyone to donate their unwanted shoes to the Heels 4 Hearts campaign which will go towards funding CPR kits for secondary schools in the UK.”

Good Morning Britain’s Dr Hilary Jones said: “These findings don’t surpriseme but are disappointing because being able to carry out CPR undoubtedly saves lives and is so easy to do.

“In countries where it is taught in schools people who need CPR have more than double the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest then in the UK despite heart disease being the biggest killer in our country.

“Learning CPR and having a simple to use defibrillator in public places would make a huge difference to heart attack outcomes. I am passionate about this campaign and together we can all make a difference and become lifesavers.”

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Faulty heart defibrillators costing lives, monitoring agency warns

Faulty heart defibrillators costing lives, monitoring agency warns | First Aid Training | Scoop.it
Up to a quarter of defibrillators installed in public places don't work, according to the agency in charge of registering the equipment.

The Automated External Defibrillator Deployment Agency has launched a new set of guidelines in an effort to stop flat batteries and software malfunctions in the units.

The agency's Graeme Pell said electronic defibrillators in workplaces, sporting clubs and other public places did not always work.

"There's nothing more frustrating than coming across somebody who's got a sudden cardiac arrest who clearly needs urgent defibrillation to save their lives and find that the defibrillator that you have in your hand, or in fact can't locate, simply won't do the job," he said.

In the United States, research has found that up to a quarter of equipment installed in public areas at any time did not work because of flat batteries, damage or software malfunctions.

Mr Peel estimated the figures were similar in Australia.

"Probably 20 to 25 per cent of defibrillators aren't working," he said.

"We also know that unless you get fibrillation on a sudden cardiac arrest patient within the first couple of minutes, then their chance of survival is very remote.

"Anecdotally, we believe that there probably are people dying unnecessarily."

Up to 33,000 Australians die from sudden cardiac arrest every year.

The agency today released a set of guidelines that helps businesses and organisations make sure equipment was ready for use in an emergency.

It is also setting a up voluntary register to keep track of all defibrillators around the country.

Mr Peel said there was one positive change already underway - defibrillators were becoming easier to use.

"You open it up and it talks to you. It'll tell you pull out the pads, where the pads have to be located and connections then basically you stand back and wait," he said.

"The battery's got to be working, the pads have got to stick, software has got to be functioning.

"There's been a huge amount of enthusiasm but not as much standardisation."

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Man campaigns to purchase defibrillators - then has life saved by one

Man campaigns to purchase defibrillators - then has life saved by one | First Aid Training | Scoop.it

A MAN who spearheaded a campaign to purchase defibrillators for use in and around East Grinstead has remarkably had his own life saved by one of the devices.

Jim Miller admits he would be "six feet under" had it not been for the shock he received from one of the machines following a recent heart attack.

The 82-year-old helped to raise enough money to fund three new defibrillators in his role as a volunteer for East Grinstead and District Lions Club back in 2010.

The club purchased the devices to be used by first responders – people living within communities who attend local medical emergencies while paramedics are still on their way.

And another defibrillator, at East Surrey Hospital, ended up saving Jim's own life on March 18.

He said: "I had some discomfort in my chest and I thought it was heartburn.

"I was taken by ambulance to East Surrey Hospital and they were about to send me home. I went to use the phone to tell my wife the good news and that's the last thing I remember. The next thing I knew, I was surrounded by all these people telling me to stay calm and not to move."

Coincidentally, another East Grinstead resident with close links to the lcoal Lions Club also had his life saved by a defibrillator after he suffered a cardiac arrest in February.

Gordon Gould, who runs the charity's website, collapsed at his doctors' surgery, but was resuscitated immediately and transferred to St George's Hospital, in Tooting, by ambulance.

He said: "Defibrillation needs to be applied very quickly, because for every minute that a person is in cardiac arrest before defibrillation, their chances of survival are reduced by about ten per cent. First responders are local volunteers, trained in lifesaving skills and in how to use a defibrillator, and can often get to a scene quicker than an ambulance.

"I am so grateful that a defibrillator was available to save my life, and the more first responders with defibrillators there are, the more lives will be saved."

The defibrillators funded by the Lions in 2010 have been made available for use by first responders in East Grinstead, Lingfield and Dormansland.

Jim, of Fulmar Drive, East Grinstead, said: "The idea is to have a first responder available within eight minutes of an incident. These are people who are trained to use defibrillators and without them, I would be six feet under.

"They saved my life and they saved Gordon's life."

Lifesaving training for first responders is provided by the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb), though the service admits it does not currently have the funding to support new volunteers. Instead, SECAmb is keen to raise awareness and money for the service.

First responder Richard Herbert, from Dormansland, said: "As first responders, we're not just there for heart attacks. We help with anything an ambulance can help with, such as first aid, cuts and breakages."


Read more: http://www.eastgrinsteadcourier.co.uk/Volunteer-launches-campaign-purchase/story-20894032-detail/story.html#ixzz2yrpyRAVt

 

 

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AEDs can save lives, but units, knowledge to use them, scarce

Sudden cardiac arrest — when, without warning, the heart instantly stops beating — kills 350,000 Americans of various ages and occupations a year, according to the American Heart Association.

Yet now, with high school sports teams beginning their fall seasons, now is when we are most aware of these fatalities because of a tragic drama: A young football player in peak condition, who has never flunked a physical or shown the faintest symptom of cardiac problems, suddenly collapses.

Death is usually all but instantaneous — but it is not necessarily inevitable, not if a device called an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED, and someone willing to use it are close at hand.

Sudden cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack, which usually is caused by blocked arteries and often gives some advance warning. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the electrical impulses that control the heart suddenly misfire.

The mild electric shock from an AED “resets” the heart and allows it to resume normal function. Bystanders revive several thousand people this way each year. More widespread use of the devices could save at least 20,000 more, according to the American Red Cross.

Since their introduction in the 1950s, AEDs have become smaller, simpler and basically foolproof; in one study, sixth-graders mastered them quickly and easily. There are about 2.5 million AEDs in the country, far short of the 30 million experts say are needed just to cover metropolitan areas and far short of the Red Cross goal of having every person in America within four minutes of an AED.

There are no good reasons why AEDs are not now widely and readily available. They should be and the solution may require a certain amount of public outcry and political attention.

Uniform national standards need to replace the often complex and inconsistent state and local rules on where and how AEDs are placed — ordering that they be placed prominently, like fire extinguishers, and regularly maintained.

The AEDs should clearly display the good Samaritan legal exception — all states have them — that protects from liability for injury or wrongful death people who voluntarily and in good faith try to save a life.

Says one manufacturer of AEDs, “It’s kind of blunt, but the bottom line is that when you’re in cardiac arrest, you’re dead before you hit the ground. There’s no way you can cause that victim any more harm using that device. You’re trying to bring them back.”

Unlike TV hospital dramas, AEDs do not have paddles that administer massive jolts. Two adhesive leads attach to the chest and the shock, if the machine’s diagnostics say one is needed, scarcely causes the patient’s chest muscles to twitch — and the newer devices will talk the user through the process.

An American public that had no problem mastering smartphones should have even less difficulty with AEDs once they are highly visible and readily accessible.Click here to edit the title

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How a health club’s AEDs saved 100 lives

How a health club’s AEDs saved 100 lives | First Aid Training | Scoop.it

David Lloyd Leisure’s health clubs do business throughout Europe; the company has 80 sites in the UK alone. With more than 440,000 members the company gets 25 million club visits a year. Since 1998, the David Lloyd Leisure staff has used AEDs to save the lives of more than 100 people.

There’s no legal requirement in the UK for fitness clubs to have automated external defibrillators (AEDs) on the premises. But the health and safety experts at David Lloyd Leisure insist on having AEDs readily accessible at every one of their busy clubs. This policy, along with staff training in AED use, has made a world of difference. Since 1999, David Lloyd Leisure has saved more than 100 lives.

“Our feeling is every fitness facility should have an AED, even if there’s no legal requirement,” says Caleb Brown, of the health and safety office at David Lloyd Leisure. “AEDs have become so affordable, and the response element is something which is really easy for a health club to do — they’ve already got team members available.”

One of Europe’s largest health and fitness businesses, David Lloyd Leisure started its AED program in 1998. At first, this simply meant ensuring that the reception desk at every facility had a defibrillator at hand.

A staff member from David Lloyd Leisure Brooklands with their Powerheart AED. Staff at the club used the AED to revive a member in 2010.

The return on investment in terms of lives saved was immediate, and the company nurtured the AED program. Brown, who joined the company in 2000, has been involved in the development of the company’s AED training program as part of overall safety training. Today, an AED is brought immediately to the scene of any health incident at one of the clubs.

While the survival rate for people who suffer outside-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest in the United Kingdom is less than 20 percent, the survival rate for someone who suffers cardiac arrest or another serious health incident at one of the David Lloyd Leisure clubs reached 88 percent in 2012.

How They Chose Powerheart AEDs

All David Lloyd Leisure clubs are equipped with at least one AED, and one large, six-story site has two defibrillators on the premises. All the AEDs — with the exception of devices at clubs recently acquired from other companies — are Cardiac Science Powerheart AED G3s. The Powerheart AEDs were chosen because they’re highly portable and easy to use, with long-lasting medical-grade batteries and Rescue-Ready technology that conducts an automatic self-check of the main components (battery, hardware, software, and pads) every day. When it’s nearing time to replace a battery, a Rescue Ready indicator on the AED turns red and sounds an alert.

“The Powerhearts are so easy to look after, and the maintenance system is brilliant,” Brown says.

In the aftermath of any incident in which an AED was required, the club replaces the used pads with a set of spares. Brown, or one of his health and safety team colleagues, then visits the club to download data from the AED for hospital use, write up an incident report, and supply a new set of spare pads.

Training: Key to a Successful AED Program

Brown, who took on a leadership role in the AED program in 2006, has designed training for club employees that enables them to respond with maximum speed and efficiency when a cardiac incident occurs.

“Because of the voice prompts, even an untrained bystander can use an AED,” Brown points out. “With a training program, you give people the ability to react faster in an event, which is going to increase chances of survival.”

Ambulance response time in urban areas in the UK is usually under 8 minutes, Brown noted, but for a sudden cardiac arrest victim that is often too late. Brown’s goal has been to train David Lloyd Leisure staff to get the AED to the victim, and the defibrillator pads on the victim’s chest, within 1 minute.

Once the pads are attached, the AED can diagnose the heart rhythm, and, if appropriate, administer a shock. The AED’s voice prompts coach the team through every step of the process, including administering CPR. The AEDs are programmed in accordance with the latest resuscitation guidelines, and David Lloyd Leisure bases its training on those same guidelines.

“I believe that some businesses overestimate the amount of training that is required for a successful AED program,” Brown says. “Our training is only two hours for an employee, once a year. With just that basic training, in the vast majority of incidents requiring an AED, we are able to get the pads onto the chest in less than a minute.”

In 2012, the company’s survival rate for incidents in which an AED was deployed reached 88 percent.

Case Study: Saving a Life at the Health Club

“I would not be alive now had it not been for the quick intervention of Paul, Laura,and others and their ability to resuscitate me,” a 45-year-old businessman wrote in a letter to David Lloyd Leisure. “I have been advised by doctors that if I had been anywhere else, in particularly where there was no defibrillator, I would not have survived.”

The man had collapsed while using a rowing machine at the North London club. Bystanders alerted the club’s team straightaway, and one of the team immediately started CPR. The AED was brought to the area and the pads put on immediately. The AED diagnosed a shockable heart rhythm and it administered one shock.

“By the time the ambulance crew arrived, the man was breathing and talking,” Caleb Brown, part of the company’s health and safety team, said. “He went on to make a complete recovery, went back to work, and he’s back at the club.”

Two members of the David Lloyd Leisure staff were directly involved in the rescue. One delivered CPR and the other used the AED. A half dozen others assisted, clearing members from the area and making sure there was access for the ambulance crew.

“The training I received in using the AED enabled me to use the AED with confidence and the clear voice prompts helped to keep me calm,” one of the rescuers reported after the incident. “It’s an amazing feeling to know that the actions I took resulted in a life being saved.”

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Heidi Brock's curator insight, July 30, 2013 9:56 AM

C.A.B. For Life an "American Heart Association" training facility brings life saving instruction to your Place of business, home, place of worship or community location.

Don't wait...It could be too late!

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Lack of defibrillators in hospitality industry raises concerns

Lack of defibrillators in hospitality industry raises concerns | First Aid Training | Scoop.it

The vast majority of British hospitality businesses do not have a defibrillator, despite the impact the device has on cardiac arrest survival rates, according to a recent report.

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Understanding Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Understanding Sudden Cardiac Arrest | First Aid Training | Scoop.it

Sudden cardiac arrest is often confused with a heart attack. Although a prior heart attack increases one’s risk for sudden cardiac arrest, the two are quite different, with distinct risk factors, treatment options and outcomes.

Anatomy of a Heart Attack

A circulation problem of the heart causes a heart attack when one or more of the arteries delivering blood to the heart are blocked. Oxygen in the blood cannot reach the heart muscle, and the heart muscle becomes damaged. You can think of a heart attack as a “plumbing problem” in the heart.

This damage to the heart muscle can lead to disturbances of the heart’s electrical system. And a malfunction of the heart’s electrical system may cause dangerously fast heart rhythms that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest.

Anatomy of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

In contrast to a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest is caused by an “electrical problem” in the heart. It occurs when the heart’s lower chambers (ventricles) suddenly develop a rapid, irregular rhythm (ventricular fibrillation) causing the ventricles to quiver rather than contract. The chaotic quivering motion of the ventricles renders the heart an ineffective pump that can no longer supply the body and brain with oxygen.

Within seconds, the person loses consciousness and has no pulse. Only immediate emergency treatment, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and external defibrillation, can prevent death from sudden cardiac arrest. Time is key to surviving sudden cardiac arrest, with chances of survival decreasing about 10 percent every minute without defibrillation. The American Heart Association recommends defibrillation within five minutes of collapse or sooner.

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British Heart Foundation - Footballer lends support

British Heart Foundation - Footballer lends support | First Aid Training | Scoop.it
Fabrice Muamba has helped to deliver our 100,000-strong ELS petition to Downing Street...
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