NICOSIA - Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation otherwise known as CPR can save 100,000 lives across Europe every year, increasing current survival rates by two or three times. However, only one in five patients are administered CPR outside hospitals, new data has revealed.
October 16 has been marked as European ‘Restart a Heart Day’ and looks to improve currently low survival rates among people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), by increasing awareness regarding the administration of CPR and the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).
According to the Cyprus Resuscitation Council (CyRC), some 800 heart attacks a year in Cyprus happen outside of hospital and an estimate 20% of these are in public places. So around a 150 Cypriots could be saved if more people could do CPR.
Approximately 35,000 European citizens die of a heart attack, which can occur anywhere, including the street, at work, or while exercising or doing other strenuous activity.
“Unfortunately, only a small minority of cardiac arrest victims receive this vital help in time to save their life,” says chairman of the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) and professor at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweeden, Maaret Castrén.
Bystander CPR rates vary widely across Europe, with Andalusia in Spain as low as 12%, Germany 15%, through to very high rates in the Netherlands (61%) and Sweden (59%).
The actual survival rate varies from region to region, 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%.
“We are positive that if more people where trained such as in public spaces including airports, gyms, hotels and if more AEDs were placed in strategic positions, 50% of deaths caused by cardiac arrest could be effectively prevented,” said Castrén.
In addition to children aged 12-16 years and young adults, the European ‘Restart a Heart Day’ will also educate teachers, parents, opinion leaders and politicians about how to give this vital assistance.
The ERC will mobilise the support of all national resuscitation organisations in Europe to help promote the campaign, which will include posters, flyers, tips on CPR and event ideas for schools, youth organisations, and sports clubs.
There will also be a multilingual website with useful information, explaining how to deliver CPR correctly, and a video demonstration, a Twitter hashtag and a special Facebook page to share experiences and stories.
Politicians in the European Parliament in Brussels will also be treated to a special resuscitation demonstration and training session on European Restart a Heart Day.
“CPR is easier than most people think and it saves lives,” said Castrén.
“Our campaign will show that CPR it is a straightforward procedure that can be performed by most people. Members of the public really have the power and ability to save lives in these circumstances.”
For more information regarding the campaign or CPR/AEDs visit the ERC website on www.erc.edu/www.kysan.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 99669991.