Heartstart Malvern
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About us

 

Background

 

The British Heart Foundation estimates that more than 30,000 cardiac arrests happen out of hospital each year and fewer than one in ten of these people survive. It is believed that in some other European countries that the survival rate is as high as one in four. The difference in survival rate is almost certainly due to the immediate actions of family members and bystanders, following a cardiac arrest, before an ambulance arrives.

 

The most common cause of a cardiac arrest is a life threatening abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF). VF happens when the electrical activity of your heart becomes so chaotic that the heart stops pumping and quivers or ‘fibrillates’ instead. A defibrillator can help to restart the heart. Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) can help to ‘buy time’ by keeping all of the important organs, including the heart and the brain, supplied with oxygen until the patient is defibrillated.

 

Heartstart Malvern aims to increase the chance of surviving an out of hospital cardiac arrest. This will be achieved by using volunteers to train members of the public in basic resuscitation techniques and placing public access defibrillators throughout Malvern.

 

Aim and Objectives

 

The overall aim of Heartstart Malvern is to increase the chance of survival for anyone in Malvern suffering an out of hospital cardiac arrest. This will be achieved by:

  • Increasing the early recognition of a heart attack so that a 999 call is made at the earliest opportunity.
  • Increasing the number of people being trained in Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) .
  • Increasing the number of people trained to use an automated external defibrillator (AED)
  • Increasing the number of Public Access Defibrillators (PADS) in Malvern
  • Supporting West Midlands Ambulance Service in recruiting, training and equipping more Community First Responders (CFRs)
  • Fundraising to enable all training to be provided free of charge and to purchase and maintain public access defibrillators

 

Why our objectives are important and how we will meet them

 

Early recognition of a heart attack

Teaching people some of the common signs and symptoms of a heart attack and encouraging them to make a 999 call should minimise the delay between the onset of the symptoms of heart attack and the initiation of life-saving treatment by the ambulance service. Research from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) suggests that around 50% of heart attack survivors who they surveyed said they delayed getting treatment after developing a heart attack.

 

The simple action of recognising that someone might be having a heart attack and making a 999 call as soon as possible could be all that is needed to save a person’s life.

 

We will increase the early recognition of a heart attack by:

  • Discussing the basic signs and symptoms and the need to make a 999 call at our training sessions
  • Identifying and using opportunities to raise the awareness of how to recognise a heart attack in the local media and other publications
  • Producing a range of printed materials to be given to members of the public

 

Teaching people basic resuscitation skills

Resuscitation involves rhythmically pushing up and down on someone’s chest if their heart has stopped beating to maintain a supply of oxygen to the brain and other vital organs. This is sometimes complimented by rescue breaths. It is a simple skill that anyone can be taught often in under an hour.

 

Once a heart has stopped beating, irreversible damage will occur to brain cells if someone does not start basic resuscitation within 3 minutes. If the brain is starved of oxygen it means that any attempt to start the heart with a defibrillator is likely to be unsuccessful. Performing CPR keeps the blood flowing to the brain and increases the chances of the heart remaining in a shockable rhythm until a defibrillator is used.

 

We will increase the number of people being taught basic resuscitation skills by:

  • Providing free resuscitation training sessions lasting for one hour to individuals, groups and local employers.
  • Providing free training to school children.
  • Making equipment available including DVD and training manikins for people who would rather follow a self-teaching package at home.
  • Raising the awareness of the need to learn basic resuscitation skills through the local media and other publications.

 

Teaching people how to use an Automated External Defibrillator

If a patient is to be successfully defibrillated, they need to be defibrillated as soon as possible after their heart has stopped beating. For every minute that passes between when a patients heart has stopped beating and they receive an electric shock from a defibrillator, their chance of survival will reduce by about 10%. The sooner they receive an electric shock from a defibrillator, the greater the patients chance of survival.

 

Defibrillators are now highly automated and people without any prior medical experience can be taught to use one safely in less than an hour. We will increase the number of people being trained to use a defibrillator by:

  • Providing free defibrillator training sessions lasting for one hour to individuals, groups and local employers.
  • Raising the awareness of the need to learn how to use a defibrillator through the local media and other publications.

 

Increasing the number of public access defibrillators in Malvern

To help increase the chances of early defibrillation, public access defibrillators need to be located throughout Malvern for anyone to use. Where possible, the same make and model of defibrillator should be purchased to help increase familiarity with equipment and confidence to use equipment.

 

Having defibrillators located throughout Malvern will increase the chances of patients being successfully defibrillated. We will increase the chances of early defibrillation by placing defibrillators:

  • In areas with a high footfall such as by local shops, in the town centre and other public buildings and spaces.
  • In the local community. Sites will need to be carefully chosen to ensure the availability and security of the defibrillator. Examples of sites could include pubs, garages, churches, local shops and community centres.

 

Increasing the number of Community First Responders

Community First Responders are volunteers who have received additional resuscitation training from the ambulance service. They have a range of equipment ( including a defibrillator) and respond to life-threatening emergencies after a 999 call has been made. They will initiate lifesaving treatment to a patient if they arrive at the scene before a paramedic. First Responders are particularly beneficial in semi-rural areas such as Malvern where an ambulance might take slightly longer to reach a patient compared to more urban areas.

 

We will increase the number of First Responders by:

  • Raising the profile of local Community First Responder schemes.
  • Discuss Community First Responders during training events and encourage people to volunteer.
  • Support the development of Community First Responder schemes through active fundraising and purchasing essential equipment.

 

Fundraising to provide training and defibrillators

It is important that training is provided free of charge to groups and that funds are available to purchase public access defibrillators. Although the scheme will be run by volunteers there will be costs associated with general administration, and purchasing equipment and consumables. Money will also be needed to maintain defibrillators and eventually replace defibrillators.

 

If possible we would aim to have a discrete group of volunteers to support the project with fundraising so other volunteers can focus on delivering training.

 

We aim to raise funds by:

  • Developing a fundraising group who will hold fundraising events for us.
  • Maintaining a high local profile and encouraging local individuals and organisations to fundraise for us
  • Applying for any grants or funding streams which may be available