Scottish resus success

Thursday, 09 November, 2017


There has been a rise in the number of people who are being successfully resuscitated following a cardiac arrest in Scotland according to new figures.
Latest Scottish Ambulance Service statistics show that, on average, 66 per cent of patients suffering a witnessed cardiac arrest by ambulance crews were successfully resuscitated and alive on arrival at hospital over the last six months.
The figures, released ahead of this year's 'Restart a Heart Day', follow a number of innovative new approaches brought in by the Scottish Ambulance Service over the last year.

Patients with Immediately Life Threatening conditions such as cardiac arrests are now being identified earlier in the call process, ambulances being dispatched more quickly, and people being treated more rapidly. This builds on previous improvement initiatives such as Resuscitation masterclasses, the introduction of new CPR technology and crucially, sending two ambulances to each cardiac arrest wherever possible.

In addition, where available, the Service is now sending a Resuscitation Rapid Response Unit ('3RU') in support, kitted out with the very latest equipment and a specially trained team of paramedics on-board who are experts in cardiac care.
As part of Scotland's unique National Strategy to improve Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest survival rates and through the Save a Life Scotland campaign, an additional 500,000 people across Scotland are being trained in CPR by 2020 and over 1,000 new public access defibrillators have been registered with the Scottish Ambulance Service. A network of over 1,300 community first responder, co-responder teams and other partners have also been established, trained to treat patients if they are first on scene.

The Scottish Ambulance Service believes the innovative approaches being taken through its new models of care are making a significant contribution to saving an additional 300 lives per year and up to 1000 lives by 2020.

Paul Gowens, Lead Consultant Paramedic for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: "These are fantastic results for Scotland, putting us up there with the best you'll see anywhere in the world. We are a country with unique challenges, responding to calls in not just urban, but remote and island communities too and these figures are world class.

"We will, of course, continue to monitor the results we are getting, but these early results are a credit to the hard work, talent and professionalism of our staff. The new approaches we are taking are making a huge contribution to achieving our aim of saving an additional 300 lives per year."
Gerry Brown, a Paramedic based at Vale of Leven Ambulance Station who recently successfully resuscitated four cardiac arrest patients in a row in the space of one week, said: "This is really positive news. Cardiac arrests are amongst the most difficult call outs to respond to and with the life of the patient in your hands, every second counts. It is vital we get to anyone suffering a cardiac arrest as quickly as possible and getting 'hands on' with the patient early is so important.

"The training, new equipment and support we are getting as paramedics in responding to calls is helping to save lives but my message to the public is that they can play their part too.

"In the recent cases we responded to, I was on scene within minutes, but what was so important was that family members or members of the public had already begun administering CPR in those vital minutes until I arrived."

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