Police scheme to assist cardiac arrest patients

Friday, 05 November, 2021

Frontline officers and Police Community Support Officers from Cambridgeshire Constabulary who are trained in Basic Life Support and the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) will now be notified and able to respond to a patient suffering a cardiac arrest in their vicinity.

The pilot group of officers will be notified of time critical incidents in their vicinity as GoodSAM responders and able to assist before the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) arrive on scene.

The GoodSAM scheme involves alerting appropriately trained, off-duty or volunteer healthcare professionals to patients who are suffering a cardiac arrest within an 800-metre radius of where they are located.

GoodSAM have been providing their technology to Cambridgeshire Constabulary for the past 20 months allowing members of the public to live stream video and share their GPS location at the point of 999 call, with the technology already credited with saving numerous lives across Cambridgeshire. This expansion now alerts on and off duty officers to incidents of cardiac arrest reported to EEAST and also notifies them of the nearest defibrillator - as well as the code to access it.

Since the implementation of the GoodSAM system, there have been many cases where patients in cardiac arrest have gained a return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and subsequently been discharged from hospital alive.

By increasing the number of trained responders that can be deployed to a cardiac arrest we know we are increasing patients' chances of survival.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary and EEAST have been working on this initiative for some time, in order to support patients by getting help to them in the quickest time possible.

Nicholas Jones, EEAST IM&T Service Delivery Manager, said: 'Having worked with the GoodSAM team for over two and a half years, we have demonstrated that deploying our staff, volunteers and other healthcare professionals is giving our patients the best possible chance of survival.

"We have received feedback from our staff and from GoodSAM responders that these changes are positive.

"By trialling the deployment of Cambridgeshire Constabulary staff to appropriate calls, when they are available, it will allow us to get to more patients quicker and save more lives.

"If successful, this three-month trial will allow us to reach out to other partner agencies to see how we can do more to assist our patients for the better."

Cambridgeshire Chief Constable Nick Dean said: "I'm delighted we can be involved in this fantastic scheme that undoubtably has the potential to save lives.

"Specially trained officers who have signed up the scheme will be able to provide essential first aid if they are close to someone in suspected cardiac arrest. This initial intervention while waiting for paramedics to arrive could make all the difference.

"The preservation of life is a core principle of policing. If officers are in the vicinity of someone having a medical episode it is only right that they do all they can to save that person."

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