In the UK approximately 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest outside hospital and are treated by emergency medical services every year. A patient's chance of survival decreases by around 10% per minute following a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). As such it is vital that emergency medical treatment begins as soon as possible.
The Chain of Survival?
The chain of survival concept has evolved through decades of research into sudden cardiac arrest. It was discovered that if a series of events took place, in a set sequence, a patient suffering from a heart attack stood a greater chance of survival.
The Chain of Survival
- Early Recognition and Call
- Early CPR
- Early Defibrillation
- Early Advanced Care
When put into practice by increasing public awareness, training in basic life support and community based defibrillators; these events have improved the pre-hospital survival rate to between 25% and 30%.
What can a First Responder Do?
Tadley Community First Responders is run by South Central Ambulance Service, and whenever a 999 call is made in the local area, an ambulance will be dispatched, and if appropriate, a first responder will also be sent to the scene.
Community First Responders are trained by the Ambulance Service to deal with a variety of medical emergencies until the ambulance arrives, and carry equipment including a defibrillator to reset the heart in the event of a cardiac arrest.
In the event of a cardiac arrest, the chance of survival decreases by up to 20% for every minute without defibrillation – Community First Responders can get to the scene before the ambulance and keep intact the first 3 links of the “Chain of Survival”.
As well as attending to patients who have had a heart attack, there are other instances, such as serious bleeding, anaphylaxis or an unconscious casualty, where a rapid response by a Community First Responder can have a significant benefit on the outcome for the patient.
In all cases of life threatening conditions the first ten minutes is the most crucial time, and a Community First Responder can often arrive at scene within minutes of the 999 call being made.