A pre-hospital emergency service continues its mission to create bystander lifesavers across the West Midlands and is calling on local businesses, schools, and communities for support.
Ahead of yesterday’s European Restart a Heart Day and today’s World Trauma Day, Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is urging the local community to take advantage of its free, in-person Mission Support training.
The sessions offer lifesaving CPR and catastrophic bleed control training including guidance on how to help restart a heart and control heavy bleeding caused by traumatic injury, such as DIY disasters, falls and road traffic collisions.
Last year, cardiac arrests made up 30 per cent of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity's missions while trauma-related incidents – including road traffic collisions, haemorrhages or penetrating injuries – accounted for 43 per cent of call-outs, two per cent up on the previous year. According to sources, approximately 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen every year in the UK. Less than one in ten people survive these cardiac arrests which is why performing CPR can more than double the chances of survival in some cases.
Ian Jones, clinical operations director for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, said: "Cardiac arrests and trauma incidents consistently rank as the top types of mission we attend, and both may require immediate bystander support. The help of anyone close-by can make all the difference during those vital first few minutes before advanced critical care teams arrive to give the patient the best possible outcome and increase their chances of survival.
"The enhanced skills, advanced medicines and hospital-level equipment our highly-trained critical care paramedics and pre-hospital emergency medicine doctors bring to scene gives patients the best possible chance of survival and recovery. However, giving local people basic lifesaving skills so they know how to act immediately should the worst happen is invaluable and I hope businesses, schools and communities in the West Midlands are quick to take up our offer of free CPR and bleed training."
Former patient, John Walton knows all too well the difference early bystander CPR can be in the chances of survival following a cardiac arrest. In January 2020, John, aged 71 was an active man enjoying his regular game of squash with his friend of 40 years, Clive Fletcher. After 35 minutes of friendly competition, John became unwell rather quickly, his breathing became laboured, and his heart went into cardiac arrest. John collapsed and fell, bruising his face.
Clive, having realised what had happened, instantly began performing CPR and called for help from the leisure centre staff. To give John the best chance of survival, whilst another squash player called 999 for emergency services, staff members at the sports centre made use of the onsite defibrillator to take over from Clive’s chest compressions. It took staff six minutes to get John’s heart restarted.
A critical care paramedic for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity was deployed to the scene alongside other emergency services. The bystander CPR John received on-scene before emergency services arrived was imperative to saving John’s life.
Once John’s condition had been stabilised, he was conveyed via land ambulance, escorted by Midlands Air Ambulance Charity crew to New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton. John says: “I don’t want to think what could have happened had it not been for Clive, the team at the leisure centre and Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s enhanced care.”