TEACHING resuscitation techniques to the general public offers the best chance of increasing survival after a cardiac arrest outside of hospital in Europe, a Glasgow conference was told.
Mary Hannon, a resuscitation training officer at the Connolly Hospital in Dublin, said training more people in cardiac pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) had the potential to have a major impact on whether a patient lived or died.
She told the EuroHeartCare Congress: “The reality is that four out of five cardiac arrests happen at home, and unless the public are trained in resuscitation many people die before emergency services get to them.
“The good news is CPR is an important life saving technique that can be effectively taught to most people.”
The European Resuscitation Council estimates that around 500,000 people suffer a sudden cardiac arrest every year in Europe.
While CPR by a bystander increases survival rates by two to three times, it is only delivered in one in five cases of out of hospital cardiac arrest.
The European Resuscitation Council has estimated that increasing this rate could save 100,000 lives in Europe each year.
“We want to get the message across that anyone, whether First Aid trained or untrained, can help someone in an emergency and that doing something is better than not doing anything at all,” Ms Hannon said.
It is estimated a victim’s chance of survival slips away by 7 per cent to 10 per cent each minute before CPR is started.
“So it’s vital not to procrastinate.