Call for more people to learn basic CPR

Tuesday, 04 August, 2009

A South East Coast Ambulance Service
NHS Trust Clinician has called for more people to learn basic CPR following the efforts of a bystander who helped save the life of a Kent man.

Sittingbourne Technician, Luke Hamilton, believes that without the quick actions of
a bystander and advances in clinical practices and equipment, 66-year-old Peter
Witham from Borden near Sittingbourne would not be alive today.

Mr Witham was riding his bicycle along Wises Lane, close to the Maypole pub,
Borden, when he collapsed and suffered a massive heart attack in August 2008. Luke, who was first on scene of the emergency with fellow Technician, Maria
Picozzi, and paramedic, Geoff Dune, said: "By the time we had arrived effective CPR was being carried out by the
bystander. In my opinion this made all the difference to the quality of Mr Witham's life.

"We want to get the message out there that carrying out effective CPR quickly before an ambulance arrives really does make a difference. You do not have to do
mouth to mouth resuscitation, chest compressions alone are just as good."

The clinicians, including air ambulance medics, continued to treat Mr Witham on scene for more than an hour. Luke said: "Mr Witham was shocked four times before a heart rhythm was established.
We continued to treat him for an hour and half before transporting him to Medway Hospital."

During the course of Mr Witham's treatment on scene, an EZIO drill was
used.This allows clinicians to give patients drugs intraosseously,via a bone,
when the patient is seriously ill and it is not possible to give drugs intravascularly, via a blood vessel.

SECAmb was the first ambulance trust in the world to introduce this equipment on
all of its frontline emergency vehicles.

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