Success continues to grow for Restart a Heart Day

Resuscitation officer Hannah Bryant has participated in four successful years teaching vital resuscitation skills during Restart a Heart Day. This year the team was joined by the group behind the GoodSAM app.

It is widely recognised that survival figures for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests are significantly lower than for those that occur in hospital.

Picture: iStock

Restart a Heart Day is a designated day of action across Europe that takes place each October. Its aim is to teach vital lifesaving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills to as many people as possible.

Skill practice

This was the fourth year the campaign has run, and each time it has grown in its success. In 2016, in excess of 150,580 adults and children were trained in lifesaving CPR in a single day. This year at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham the resus team and supporting resuscitation core trainers set up three interactive resus stations for the public to learn and practise their resuscitation skills.

We were also joined by the GoodSAM team who were promoting use of the GoodSAM app. The working theory behind the free app, which is endorsed by the UK Resuscitation Council, is that members of the public are probably never more than 200 metres from a doctor, nurse or paramedic, but may not actually know it. By using the app, they can ask for help in emergencies.

The app alerts those with medical training and who have signed up to the scheme to nearby emergencies so that potentially life-saving interventions can be undertaken before the arrival of statutory services. The app also has a built-in crowd-sourced defibrillator registry, which means public-access defibrillators can be easily found by members of the public or the volunteer responders. 

Improving medical response

If healthcare providers are keen to help in their local communities they can join the scheme and they will then be alerted if there is a cardiac arrest in the immediate vicinity.

The GoodSam app platform is governed by a code of conduct and checks are made to ensure that all responders are appropriately qualified. Once verified, the responder will join a network and help create a nation of community lifesavers.    

About the author

Hannah Bryant is a resuscitation officer at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and a member of the Emergency Nurse advisory board

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