Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Improving bystander resuscitation following cardiac arrest outside hospital could save 100,000 lives across Europe each year


A session at this year's Euroanaesthesia meeting will discuss how improving the skills of members of the public, including schoolchildren, in resuscitation following cardiac arrest could save up to 100,000 lives per year. The presentation will be given by Professor Bernd Böttiger, Director of Science and Research at the European Resuscitation Council (ERC), and also Head of the Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine at University Hospital Cologne, Germany.

The best estimates currently available suggest that 350,000 deaths in each year in Europe are due to so called 'out-of-hospital cardiac arrest' (OOH-CA).This puts this cause of death in third place behind all cancers combined and other cardiovascular causes.

However, Professor Böttiger and other experts in resuscitation believe around 100,000 of these deaths could be prevented if members of the public, beginning with schoolchildren, are educated better on how to resuscitate a person who has had OOH-CA. He says: "350,000 deaths from OOH-CA per year is around 1000 deaths per day, the equivalent to 2 large full jumbo jets crashing per day, every day through the whole year, with no survivors. If that was happening, wouldn't we be doing all we could to stop it?"

Bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by lay people increases survival by 2-3 times, however, today it is delivered in only 1 in 5 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests across Europe on average. Bystander CPR rates vary widely across Europe, with Andalusia in Spain as low as 12%, Germany 17%, through to very high rates in the Netherlands (61%) and Sweden (59%).The actual survival rate varies with the setting, with some countries (generally those in Eastern Europe) having survival as low as 6%, whereas countries with an excellent record in bystander CPR such as the Netherlands and Norway see survival rates as high as 40%.

"The reason for these low overall survival rates is that, without any form of resuscitation, the brain starts to die around 5 minutes after the cardiac arrest. This is usually sooner than most physicians and paramedics can arrive to help. Thus members of the public, by starting resuscitation, can really make a difference that can save someone's life. 60-80% of OOH-CA are witnessed by someone, and those people can help if they are shown how."

He gives the example of Denmark and Scandinavia which now have improved rates OOH-CA survival by focussing on improved education, including for bystander resuscitation. "Someone's wife, husband, son or daughter, friend, taxi driver: absolutely anyone could learn resuscitation, restart a person's heart, and save their life," says Professor Böttiger, He also stresses the importance of the dispatching paramedics when people call their emergency phone number: "If the dispatcher identifies cardiac arrest, the survival rate is higher than if not; rapid dispatching saves lives. Telephone CPR is in addition a method to improve survival of OOH-CA. All telephone dispatchers across Europe should be trained to teach bystander CPR to the person telephoning the emergency."

For education of schoolchildren, the ERC says that children of 12 years and older can be shown resuscitation techniques using just 2 hours per school year, and Professor Böttiger says one hour could be used in Biology or science lessons and another in physical education. Teachers can be trained how to instruct pupils. Training schoolchildren in resuscitation already happens regularly in Denmark.

The ERC has already held one successful European 'Restart a Heart' day (16 October 2013). 16-year-old Kea from Cologne, Germany successfully resuscitated 12-year-old Nic during 2013, while waiting more than 10 min for emergency physicians. Together the two children instructed the European Commissioner of Health, Tonio Borg, how to successfully resuscitate. On 16 October 2014, there will be a second European Restart a Heart Day, with the theme "Your hands can save a loved one's Life".

In addition, a study (called EuReCa-ONE), involving 20 European registries, will be completed in October, 2014, to allow more detailed comparisons between countries and best practices to be shared.

"Traffic accidents cause far fewer deaths per head of population today, thanks to the billions invested in roads and vehicle safety. Now we must make investments to prevent deaths related to cardiac arrest. Among the things that will make the biggest difference are Europe-wide schoolchildren CPR training; improving dispatcher identification of CPR on the phone to get physicians and paramedics there faster; telephone CPR; European-wide cardiac arrest registries; and legislation that not only requires the registration of each death by traffic accident, but also compulsory registration of OOH-CA," concludes Professor Böttiger. "By improving rates of OOH-CA resuscitation by members of the public to those of the best performing countries in Europe, we can easily save 100,000 additional lives every year in Europe, meaning 274 every day, and one every 5 minutes."

He adds: "Anaesthesiologists across Europe are keen to do all they can to help improve rates of bystander CPR in their respective countries."



The steps for successful CPR

1 Check

  • Make sure it is safe to approach
  • Check for any response from the victim
  • Shout for help
  • Tilt head back, lift the chin and check for breathing

2 Call

  • Call the emergency services and state your name, location and the situation

3 Pump

  • Place the heel of one hand in the centre of the chest
  • Place other hand on top and interlock fingers
  • Compress the chest to the rhythm of "Stayin' Alive" (Bee-Gees) or "Get Lucky"(Daft Punk) until emergency services arrive
  • If willing, provide two rescue breaths between every 30 compressions, otherwise pump the chest continuously
  • Don't worry, you cannot do any harm
  • If possible change CPR operator every 2 min

4 Shock

  • If someones has come to help ask them to try to find and automated external defibrillator (AED)
  • Do not stop pumping
  • If an AED arrives, switch it on immediately and follow the instructions.

5. Smile, and be proud that you have taken action

  • Once the emergency services arrive, you can relax and celebrate the fact that your hands could restart a heart and save a life
  • Doing something is ALWAYS better than doing nothing
  • Well done!
  • Now spread the word and let your friends and family know that they too can save lives.| E-mail

Bernd Böttiger | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: Anaesthesiology CPR ERC ESA bystander cardiac death difference physicians successful

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>