Bystanders in Victoria, Australia are twice as likely to do CPR if they see an out of hospital cardiac arrest than they were 10 years ago. This means that local people are increasingly likely to survive cardiac arrest, maintain their independence and have a good quality of life.
- More than half (61%) of people who were witnessed to collapse by bystanders in Victoria received CPR, compared to 36% 10 years ago.
- Patients who received CPR from bystanders in Victoria were approximately 11 times more likely to be found in a shockable rhythm, the cardiac rhythm most favourable to survival.
- More patients first shocked by bystanders in Victoria were discharged alive from hospital (55%) than those who had to wait for first shock by ambulance paramedics (28%).
- Patients who received CPR from bystanders in Victoria were twice as likely to be discharged alive from hospital as those who did not receive bystander CPR (12% vs 6%).
Professor Karen Smith has described how quick intervention is the key to survival.
Bystanders in Victoria take a number of steps to improve survival:
“The first step is bystanders being able to recognise that someone is in a cardiac arrest and calling [their equivalent of 999] to ask for help from the emergency medical services. Secondly, a bystander can initiate resuscitation, by performing CPR or, if available, using a public automated external defibrillator to shock (defibrillate) the patient so as to return them to a normal heart rhythm.”
Ambulance Victoria does well when compared to other international agencies.
More than one-third (35%) of Victorian patients who were seen to collapse, who had a shockable heart rhythm on arrival of help, and subsequently received resuscitation by emergency medical services survived. This increases to 38% for patients in metropolitan Melbourne.
Most Victorian survivors were discharged home (83%). Of patients with a cardiac arrest in 2014-2015, who were followed up for 12 months, 74 per cent of those working prior to their arrest had returned to work 12 months after their arrest.
This still means 26% of people previously working have not returned to work. And, unfortunately, substantial numbers of people die or do not return home after their cardiac arrest.
But, if you’re going to have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, Victoria in Australia is a better place to do this than the UK! Bystanders in Victoria are much more likely to help you.
Surely, this is a challenge we Londoners need to rise to!?
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