10 heart attacks a week in MK: People urged to learn life-saving skills

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Doctors are urging people in Milton Keynes to learn basic life-saving skills to increase the survival rate of heart attack victims.

Milton Keynes Hospital sees an average of 10 patients suffering from cardiac arrests each week, and staff work hard to help as many patients as possible to pull through and return to healthy lives.

With the right hospital care and resuscitation at the scene of their heart attack, approximately one in six patients survive. Without resuscitation at the scene, just one in 40 survive.

A&E consultant Vimal Desai said: “Having more people out there who can give lifesaving support would make a huge difference to how many Milton Keynes residents survive their heart attacks.

“There are four key aspects to the chain of survival, which of course includes their hospital care. Two of these important things need to happen before the patient arrives at the A&E front door, or even before the ambulance arrives.

“Firstly, someone needs to recognise what is happening to the person quickly and call for help. Then someone needs to provide early basic life support while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

“Basic life support is not complicated and does not take long to learn. Everyone should know how to do it. I’d love to see a time when 50 per cent of Milton Keynes citizens knew how to give basic life support. It really is a case of life or death, and could affect someone you love.

“Together we can make a difference. Let’s get Milton Keynes trained and ready!”

Cardiac arrests are most common in the elderly, but can also affect the very young, from babies upwards. There have also been a number of high profile cases in recent years of sudden cardiac arrest in the under 30s.

Mr Desai added: “I’d urge individuals to look at the resus website and see how simple it is for themselves. I’d also love to see businesses taking on the challenge, and training more of their staff.”

Drives to improve the basic life-saving skills of ordinary residents have already made a big difference elsewhere. For example, in Norway and the American city of Seattle, all children are given mandatory life-saving training and survival rates from cardiac arrest are around 50 per cent.