East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) has today publically launched our new First Aid Training Programme. Our mission is simple, we want to save more lives and minimise the impact of trauma and medical emergencies in the future by forming the chain of survival and delivering first aid training to workplaces and community organisations across East Anglia.
Every year approximately 12,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest whilst at home, work or play in the East of England. That’s 30 people a day across six counties. Only about 40% of these receive any form of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before the arrival of the ambulance service and less than 20% have a defibrillator deployed before emergency services arrive. Early bystander CPR trebles the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest. Coupled with the early use of a defibrillator this can improve survival to between 40-70%.
EAAA Critical Care Paramedic, Mark Milsom and his CCP colleagues will be delivering a variety of first aid training courses, including; a free one hour CPR and defibrillator awareness course for community groups, first aid at work courses, half day refresher courses and an advanced life support course for healthcare professionals. The aim of these courses is to give people the skills to confidently deliver first aid and CPR so that the patient has the best possible chance of surviving an accident or medical emergency. These courses are delivered by our highly experienced critical care paramedics who have real life experience as they regularly fly on board our helicopters and see first-hand the difference these skills make.
One family that knows too well the importance of bystander CPR is the Salmons family. Mum of two Charlotte Salmons suffered a cardiac arrest at home in August 2017; her husband James began immediate CPR and called 999. A first responder quickly arrived and delivered two shocks with a defibrillator to get her heart back into a rhythm. Our EAAA team then arrived and assessed & monitored Charlotte’s heart via ECG (electrocardiogram) and cardiac ultrasound, gained intravenous access to administer medication and intubated her to take control of her breathing, before taking her to Addenbrooke’s hospital for further treatment.
Since recovering from her cardiac arrest Charlotte has become an ambassador for our First Aid Training programme, saying that James saved her life by knowing to start CPR immediately. In an interview with the BBC James said, “When you get married you say until death do us part – and I was not ready for that to happen”. The perfect reason to know how to put CPR into practice.
EAAA First Aid Trainer and Critical Care Paramedic, Mark Milsom, said; “I was fortunate enough to be on the base when Charlotte came for a visit to meet the EAAA team and knowing the details of what had happened I was delighted to see the incredible recovery she had made. People often associate cardiac arrest with older people, but that is not always the case, and Charlotte as a young woman with two young children is proof of that. It is also the ultimate reminder of the importance of knowing how to perform good CPR and we are so pleased that Charlotte has become such a brilliant ambassador for it.”
Employees at SaxonAir Charter Ltd recently completed the one hour CPR and defibrillator awareness course. Alex Durand, Chief Executive Officer at SaxonAir, said: “Every day the EAAA directly help to save lives in the region. SaxonAir are delighted to have their skills and experience introduced into our workplace by their front-line staff, helping us to extend their reach into the local community”.
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