Andy Jeynes West Midland Ambulance Service
At last evenings event we had Andy Jeynes, a “Silver Commander” from the West Midlands Ambulance Service delivering a talk on Heart attacks and defibrillators.
Andy Jeynes has over thirty years in the Ambulance Service and currently works with BHF and the National Resuscitation Council on defining rules and regulations around the placement and use of defibrillators.
Andy told us that the Ambulance Service are working to create an Mobile Phone App that maybe be available as early as spring time next year, which will give accurate and current positioning of all locally registered defibrillators that can be used by anyone in need of one in an emergency.
A number of different manufactures equipment’s were laid out to view as he highlighted some of the main differentiation between one and the other. The battery and how many shocks it could deliver were amongst the main things.
Andy talked about what happens when a 999 call goes through to the Response Centre and how technology today allows the ability to accurately locate the caller’s position anywhere in the country. Also the fact that the Ambulance Service will stay on the line with the caller until the crew arrives. The Ambulance service will know the location of all the local defibrillators that have been registered and can, if need be, direct you to the nearest one.
Andy did point out there will be a defibrillator amnesty campaign next year to allow the registering of your defibrillator. He noted that there were probably hundreds that were not registered and the service would not beware of them.
The talked then centred on the “Chain of Survival” four steps to saving someone’s life.
- Early recognition of the issue and calling for professional assistance
- Early CPR
- Early defibrillation
- Early advanced care being provided
The point was made that early CPR could possibly extend the time the heart would fibrillate (“wobble”). Technically known as VF, (Ventricular Fibrillation) this “wobble” is when the heart is in cardiac arrest and is not pumping to the correct rhythm. Using CPR on it’s on will not change this but by keeping the heart oxygenated, using CPR, you can buy some time to get the defibrillator. This is the only thing that will save your life, the defibrillator needs to be used as quickly as possible as these units automatically detect the state of fibrillation then apply the corrective action necessary including, in many cases, stopping the heart altogether with a powerful electrical shock, (typically between 100 and 200 Joules), and then allowing the re-establishment a rhythmic beat. This rhythmic beat is controlled by the sino-atrial node. This action does not of course diagnose the problem that caused the ventricular fibrillation however the key thing at this stage is to maintain blood flow and extend life until more capable facilities are available.
- If you are on your own don’t stay with the victim doing CPR if a defibrillator can be easily accessed, go and get it!
- If there is someone with you then send them, and you start the CPR.
The chance of survival reduces by around 8% per minute in a cardiac arrest so you have little time to get the heart beating again remembering that blood circulation is the key focus of your attention whether that is by thoracic compression or through the use of the defibrillator..
All in all a very interesting evening delivered by a true professional. By the way stay away from the Golf Course, apparently this is the most common place for cardiac arrests!
Chris Smith (Group Events Organizer)