If someone collapsed and stopped breathing in front of you, would you know what to do?
Burnley Football Club has teamed up with North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) to show match goers how easy it is to save the life of someone in cardiac arrest.
Cardiac arrest is the most extreme emergency and happens when the heart stops pumping blood around the body. If someone has a cardiac arrest, they will lose consciousness almost at once and there are no other signs of life.
- In the UK alone, around 30,000 cardiac arrests occur out of hospital each year
- 80 percent occur in the home
- 20 percent occur in public places
- Every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces chances of survival by up to 10 percent
Some cases of cardiac arrest can be corrected by giving an electric shock through the chest wall using a defibrillator, whilst simple chest compressions and rescue breaths keep blood and oxygen circulating in the body, preventing damage to organs such as the brain.
Before the game in the fanzone volunteers will be doing live CPR demonstrations and encouranging supporters to have a go themselves. Also, at half time, volunteers from the ambulance service will take to the pitch to demonstrate simple CPR skills and just how easy it is to use a defibrillator.
NWAS’ partnership with the Clarets’ came about through First Team Doctor Simon Morris who said: “We’ve seen many high profile cases of cardiac arrest in football, including Bolton Wanderers’ Fabrice Muamba (who collapsed during a match with Tottenham Hotspur in 2012), which prove that this potentially tragic experience can happen to anyone.
Burnley FC fan and Community Resuscitation Development Officer at NWAS, Jane Atkinson, said: “Only one in five people survive a cardiac arrest, but we want to improve that rate and quick action from bystanders can mean the difference between life and death.
“First it’s important to know how to recognise a cardiac arrest and then you need to act quickly - anyone can help in these situations, no training is needed.
“Call 999, start CPR and, if there is a defibrillator nearby, send someone get it. As soon as you open the lid, the defibrillator will talk to you and tell you exactly what to do. It’s important to know that it won’t shock someone who doesn’t need it, so you can’t do any damage.
“If you are worried about giving mouth-to-mouth to a stranger, you can do hands-only CPR. In a cardiac arrest, it is better to do something rather than nothing.”
To find out more about NWAS’ work to prevent cardiac arrests, including details of free training courses and how to get a defibrillator, visit www.nwas-responder.info or www.cardiacsmart.nwas.nhs.uk or search #CardiacSmart.