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South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) has created a special online Valentine’s Day card that can be sent to someone you care for this year with the promise that you will look after the recipient’s heart by learning how to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Across the SCAS region, the ambulance service is called out on average four times a day to an emergency involving a patient suffering a cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, the survival rate for those suffering an out of hospital cardiac arrest in the UK is less than1 in 10 people. However, according to the latest data published by NHS England, the percentage of people suffering a cardiac arrest in the South Central region who survive to leave hospital was 17% (September 2016).

The Valentine’s Day card is designed to encourage more people learn how to do life-saving CPR (or chest compressions) should they come across someone collapsed, not breathing and potentially in cardiac arrest.

Download the card here: Valentine’s Day 2017

For every minute that passes without CPR starting on a person in cardiac arrest, their chances of survival reduce by 10%.

Professor Charles Deakin, Consultant Cardiologist and Associate Medical Director for SCAS said:

“One of the big worries of people giving first aid and chest compressions to someone who has collapsed and is not breathing is that it might harm the patient, but actually it’s a very safe thing to do and it’s not possible to make the situation any worse.

“Even if you aren’t an expert in giving chest compressions, it’s been shown from studies that you can at least double if not treble someone’s chances of survival by having a go at giving chest compressions.”

By encouraging people to download and share SCAS’ Valentine’s Day card this year, and committing to learning how to do CPR, the chances of more people across the South Central region surviving a cardiac arrest in our region will increase.

Ends

 Notes to editors:

  • On average across the SCAS region, the ambulance service is called to attend four patients suffering a cardiac arrest every day.
  • In the UK, less than 1 in 10 people who have a cardiac arrest outside of hospital survive.
  • In Norway, where CPR is taught as part of the curriculum in all schools, the survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests is 1 in 4.
  • The last published data for patients in the South Central region surviving to leave hospital after a cardiac arrest in September 2016 was 17% – the highest of all England’s ambulance trusts. The national average across all ambulance trusts in September 2016 was 7.9%.
  • Between April and September 2016, SCAS began or continued resuscitation on 567 patients in cardiac arrest; 75 of those survived to leave hospital (13.2%).
  • Between April and September 2016 across all ambulance trusts in England, 13,465 patients in cardiac arrest were attempted to be resuscitated; 1,209 of those survived to leave hospital (8.9%).
  • If the survival rate across all ambulance trusts was as high as the SCAS survival rate, 568 more people who died from a cardiac arrest between April-September 2016 would be alive today.

For more information contact the communications team on 07623 957 895 or email communications@scas.nhs.uk