How every sec­ond counts

Daily Mail - - News -

MOST car­diac ar­rest sur­vivors have their heart restarted within 30 min­utes of CPR be­gin­ning.

But mod­ern re­sus­ci­ta­tion tech­niques are in­creas­ing sur­vival times and peo­ple can now re­cover when their heart has stopped for more than an hour.

If CPR starts early – and every minute counts – some­one can be tech­ni­cally dead for this long with­out any brain dam­age.

They are more likely to die if no de­fib­ril­la­tor is used or they have ‘flat­lined’ with no elec­tri­cal heart ac­tiv­ity for 20 min­utes. Those who sur­vive un­scathed may have no mem­ory of the days after their car­diac ar­rest be­cause of the lack of blood flow and oxy­gen to the brain. But these mem­ory prob­lems, made worse by se­da­tion in in­ten­sive care, im­prove over time.

A car­diac ar­rest means the heart stops pump­ing blood around the body and only eight out of 100 peo­ple who have one in Bri­tain sur­vive to leave hos­pi­tal. The Re­sus­ci­ta­tion Coun­cil is work­ing to teach more peo­ple how to per­form mouth-to-mouth and chest com­pres­sions.

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