Experts urge defibrillator awareness due to low cardiac arrest survival rates

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Health campaigners have called for greater awareness of defibrillators after a shocking report into cardiac arrest
survival rates.

Just 7.8% of people who suffer the heart issue in their homes or in a public place live through it, the study found.

It has led experts to suggest more people learn life-saving techniques and how to use defibrillators, which can restart the heart.

Dr Christopher Smith, from Warwick Medical School, said: “Cardiac arrest is the most serious and time-critical medical emergency, but there is a lot that can be done to improve patient outcomes.”

“In particular, there is a need to better co-ordinate and implement community-based interventions such as bystander CPR and the use of public-access defibrillators.”

James Cant, chief executive of the Resuscitation Council UK, said: “We want to save more lives and reduce the devastating consequence of cardiac arrest for patients and their families.”

“This report sheds crucial light on survival, CPR and defibrillator trends, allowing us to apply a data-driven approach in working to save more lives.”

Judy O’Sullivan, from the British Heart Foundation, said: “Every second is vital when someone has a cardiac arrest. Quick CPR and defibrillation can be the difference between life and death. These figures lay bare the worryingly low survival rates following an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, and show that too many opportunities to help save a life are being missed.”

“We need to change this. It’s important to have the confidence to do CPR and use a defibrillator.”

The analysis of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in England was conducted by the University of Warwick Clinical Trials Unit.

The Daily Express’s Complete The Circuit crusade has raised awareness of defibrillators and urged people to log their locations on national network The Circuit since last May.

At that time, 66,000 defibrillators were registered. Now, that figure has leapt to 82,000.

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