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Thursday, January 26, 2023

SCAS CPR Resuscitation and Defibrillator App Save a Life Sees Spike in Downloads

An ambulance service app which provides cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) guidance and locates the nearest defibrillator saw a 1,300 per cent increase in downloads following Danish football star Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest at Euro 2020.

The Save a Life app, developed by South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS), uses GPS navigation to locate the nearest automated external defibrillator (AED) as well as a list of others in the area and features videos, instructions and a question-and-answer section.

The subject of CPR was thrust into the spotlight this month when Inter Milan ace Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch during his country’s clash with Finland and had immediate life-saving assistance from players and medics.

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops pumping blood around the body. CPR and defibrillators – devices which deliver an electric current to shock the heart muscle – enable anyone to provide immediate assistance to people prior to the arrival of emergency services.

Around 60,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) occur in the UK every year and emergency services attempt resuscitation in around half – but just one in 10 people survive to hospital discharge.

However, chances of survival are two to three times higher with immediate bystander CPR – and a report published earlier this year by the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) found 35.5% of patients who received CPR from a bystander survived to hospital discharge.

The boost in interest in the app comes after data at SCAS showed requests for training and information on how to perform CPR and use AEDs, which are now stationed in many local communities, were down 67% last year and 86.5% this year in the South Central region compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019. 

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