SWI gets to the heart of the matter
GATEHOUSE SWI Annie Margare t greeted members of Gatehouse SWI at their February meeting.
She welcomed Pete, Pauline and Alan, volunteer trainers from the British Heart Foundation, who explained what to do if someone appears to be suffering from a cardiac arrest.
There are more than 30,000 cardiac arrests in the UK each year.
The overall survival rate in the UK is less than 1 in 10.
In a rural area like Gatehouse of Fleet an ambulance may not arrive for between 25-60 minutes, so understanding what to do when a medical emergency occurs is important.
Alan demonstrated resuscitating a Resusci Anne while Pauline used the defibrillator.
They then explained what they had done.
If a person stops breathing Ca r d i o Pulmonary Resuscitation ( CPR) is started. In a real situation the best place for the patient to be is on the floor as a hard surface is essential. Then do the following:
Check the breathing by looking down the centre line of the body for 10 seconds, tip head back slightly and check mouth is clear.
For compression put the heel of the hand (other hand on top) on the breast bone. Complete 30 compressions at about two per second.
Tilt head backwards, open mouth and pinch nostrils and take a deep breath forming a seal and give 2 rescue breaths.
Go back to the compressions which are vitally important to raise the blood pressure and send blood to the brain, lungs and other organs. In reality it is only possible to maintain compressions for around 15 or 20 minutes so it is really important to get help from others.
A defibrillator is an electrical device that provides a shock to the heart when there is a lifethreatening arrhythmia present, meaning there is a very rapid erratic beating of the heart.
The defibrillator provides an electric charge that basically shocks the heart into briefly stopping so that it can then start rhythmically contracting again.
Pauline went on the explain about the use of the electric shock which is only effective in the first five minutes of a cardiac arrest.
The pads need to adhere to the skin and so tissues and a razor are included in the pack to ensure the casualty’s skin is dry and hair free.
No one should touch the casualty when the shock is given otherwise the they will also get a severe shock.
It is hoped that a normal heart rate will return after the shock of the defibrillator.
In Gatehouse there are defibrillators at the Bank of Fleet, the golf course and soon there will be one in the porch of the Community Centre.
The effective use of a defibrillator can increase the survival rate after a cardiac arrest from six per cent to 64 per cent so it is a vital piece of equipment within the town and essential that people know how to use it and are confident in their abilities.
To encourage members to feel more confident they ‘had a go’ with the Resusci Anne, under Alan’s watchful eye.
Heart to heart Tuition on CPR at SWI monthly meeting