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16 October: European Day of Awareness of the Cardiac Arrest Why?
Sudden death is a huge problem: Every year around 350.000 Europeans suffer a cardiorespiratory arrest (CPA) outside of hospitals (1). Controlled cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has been shown to double or even quadruple survival (2). However, only 1 in 5 victims receive CPR (3).
As I have seen throughout the courses given, the lack of knowledge of CPR techniques and lack of training make people very afraid not only to harm the victim but also to be denounced.
Measures such as the mass formation of a greater number of citizens in the CPR maneuvers and strategic location of more automated external defibrillators (AEDs), could avoid more than 50% of deaths by PCR (4). Also, doing CPR and using an AED is very easy (2)
Measures taken by the European Parliament:
The 14 of June of 2012, the European Parliament declared the importance of establishing a European week of awareness on cardiac arrest, aimed at improving the awareness and education of the general public, doctors and health professionals (1).
As a consequence, the following year, the European Union established October 16 as the "European Heart Arrest Day" - "European Restart a Heart Day" (5). Since then every year this important day is celebrated.
The objective of this day:
The goal of this day is to increase general awareness of cardiac arrest. Today there is still a great lack of knowledge on the part of the public regarding the recognition of cardiac arrest and the way of acting in the first minutes until the arrival of the ambulance. The witnesses of the cardiac arrest luckily call to the 112 to inform (first link of the chain of survival). However, there are very few who start compressions or cardiac massage.
Lifeguard Project joins this parliamentary initiative:
From the Lifeguard Project team we consider that it is of vital importance to carry out a minimum training in CPR and use of the defibrillator to lose “that fear” to act in the first minutes and thus be able to save a life.
We can all learn these techniques, even the smallest ones in the house. We can serve as an example Denmark, which has managed to increase the recovery of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests of working age from 12,1% to 34,6% in just one decade (2001-2011), being possible thanks to the implementation in their schools of a ambitious RCP disclosure program (6,7).
If you are not yet trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and would like to learn these life-saving maneuvers, do not hesitate to contact us. We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to work on this wonderful Project that has a great socio-health impact. We invite you to also be part of it.
Proyecto Salvavidas has been disseminating these techniques for years and training health personnel, police, firefighters, teachers, workers, schoolchildren, etc. in cardiopulmonary resuscitation maneuvers and use of the defibrillator. Many of them have been able to form thanks to our solidarity campaigns through the Life-saving Bracelets
A big hug #Salvavidas!
Matías Soria Mountain
1 Declaration of the European Parliament of 14 June 2012 on establishing a European cardiac arrest awareness week http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P7-TA-2012-0266+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN
2 European Resuscitation Council Guidelines for Resuscitation 2015: Section 2. Adult basic life support and automated external defibrillation
3 J. Berdowski, RA Berg, JG Tijssen, RW Koster. Global incidences of out-of-hospital. cardiac arrest and survival rates: systematic review of 67 prospective studies
Resuscitation, 81 (2010), pp. 1479-1487 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.resuscitation.2010.08.006Medline
4 AMF Folke, FK Lippert, LS Rasmussen. Use and benefits of public access defibrillation in a nation-wide network. Resuscitation, 84 (2013), pp. 430-434 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.resuscitation.2012.11.008
5 M. Georgiou. Restart a Heart Day: A strategy by the European Resuscitation Council to raise cardiac arrest awareness. Resuscitation, 84 (2013), pp. 1157-1158 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.resuscitation.2013.06.021Medline
6 Wissenberg, M. et al. (2015): "Survival After Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in Relation to Age and Early Identification of Patients With Minimal Chance of Long-Term Survival". Circulation, 131, 1536-1545.
7 Isbye, DL on (2017): "Disseminating Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training by Distributing 35000 Personal Manikins Among School Children". Circulation, 116, 1380-1385.