The Chain of Survival

Posted by on Nov 25, 2012 in banner area | 0 comments

  The chances of survival following a cardiac arrest are considerably improved if there is a rapid, coordinated response to the emergency. The HSE supports the American Heart Association’s ‘Chain of Survival’ concept which is a process of four steps to be enacted to ensure an effective response to an acute Cardiac Emergency.   1.    Early access to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) This involves recognising that a person is in cardiac arrest and calling for help by phoning 112 (the single European emergency call number) or 999. There is considerable lack of awareness in the community as to the appropriate action to be taken in the event of a collapse. It is advisable to always contact the National Ambulance Service first before moving on to the next step so that professional help can be dispatched immediately. In addition, once connected to the emergency service, immediate assistance can be given by way of telephone advice to support you.   2.    Early Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) This is a manual technique for attempting to revive collapsed individuals using rescue breathing and chest compressions. When someone has a Cardiac Arrest this procedure is undertaken in order to keep the person’s brain, heart and other vital organs supplied with blood and oxygen until medical help arrives. In order to be effective, training in the use of CPR is essential. From the moment of collapse to defibrillation the chance of survival decreases by 7 to10% per minute when CPR is not being performed. 3.    Early Defibrillation Defibrillation is the delivery of an electric shock to a person’s chest to help restore the normal function of the heart. In order to be effective and safe, training in the use of a defibrillator is essential. 4.    Early Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Advanced medical care is usually given in a hospital setting, however ACLS can also be delivered in a pre-hospital or community setting by trained personnel.  In the out of hospital setting in Ireland, this is most commonly delivered by General Practitioners, but increasingly by Advanced Paramedics. The Chain is only as strong as its weakest link and if any of the links are missing when someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest, the chance of survival is...

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Who are we and what do we do?

Posted by on Oct 31, 2012 in banner area | 0 comments

The Wicklow Cardiac First Responders are the umbrella Organisation for 31 Community First Responder Groups in County Wicklow and were set up specifically for assisting people living in rural areas who suffer Cardiac Arrest. For those people every minute counts, their best chance of survival is defibrillation within the first 10 minutes.  We have 489 members in 31 (soon to be 33) Community First Responder Groups acrossCountyWicklow. We are a group of volunteers, despatched by the 999/112 Emergency Ambulance Service (VIZA CAD System – SMS TEXT Messaging), and most Groups have organised themselves to be “on call 24/7” to respond to Breathing Difficulty and Cardiac Emergencies in their Communities. The Groups purchased their own AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) and training equipment by fund raising; the training is carried out by our own PHECC CFR Instructors and the work is carried out by the volunteers who give up their time to be “on call”. Wicklow Community First Responders have been trained to perform CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), how to use an AED (under AHA protocols) and perform Oxygen and Aspirin Therapy. Upon receipt of a 999/112 call we are dispatched simultaneously with the NAS (National Ambulance Service) Emergency Ambulance. First Responders are only dispatched to Chest Pain, Breathing difficulty and Cardiac related calls within a three mile (5km) radius of their Communities. Because the people “on call” live or work in their area, they can respond in minutes and provide emergency measures and reassurance until the Ambulance Service arrives. The CFR scheme in Co. Wicklow is the first of its kind in the country. The first groups went “live” in spring of 2005, over a year before “Reducing the Risk: A Strategic Approach. The report of the Task Force on Sudden Cardiac Death” was published. The National Ambulance Service were ahead of their time in helping implement what turned out to be recommendations of the Report and it has been a fabulous success story. The NAS Ambulance Service should be commended for their initiative. Community First Responders (CFRs) are recommended by the Irish Hearth Foundation, American Hearth Association, European Society of Cardiology, The PHECC and “Reducing the Risk: A Strategic Approach. The report of the “Task Force on Sudden Cardiac Death”. All these organisations suggest Community First Responder Groups as the way forward in strengthening the “Chain of Survival”. Community based First Responders can fill the “therapeutic vacuum” and provide essential simple treatments in those crucial first few minutes before the Emergency Ambulance arrives. The Wicklow Cardiac First Responder Scheme is a completely voluntary scheme. We receive no central funding.  We self manage the scheme under the guidance of the National Ambulance Service. All the above commitment, training, fund raising etc. is...

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What is a Cardiac First Responder

Posted by on Oct 31, 2012 in banner area | 0 comments

A Cardiac First Responder is: A person who has successfully completed a Pre Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) approved Cardiac First Responder course – Community level, within the last two years. It includes citizens or emergency medical volunteers/rescuers and uniformed personnel who may be dispatched or come across the following cardiac emergencies: Cardiac Arrest, Heart Attack and foreign body airway obstruction (FBAO) The Cardiac First Responder Course is designed to allow participants attain a basic understanding of Basic Life Support situations and their treatment. This course is Level 1 on the PHECC (Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council) Training Standards. The covers the “Chain of Survival”, what to do in the event of a Cardiac Arrest, Adult, Child & Infant CPR, how to use an AED (Defibrillator) Adult Chest Pain Management (suspected Heart Attack), Aspirin Therapy, Stroke recognition using F.A.S.T., and Choking (FBAO)....

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What is a Community First Responder?

Posted by on Oct 31, 2012 in banner area |

A person trained, as a minimum in basic like support and the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), who attends a potentially life threatening emergency. Wicklow Cardiac First Responders represent 31 Community First Responder Groups in Co. Wicklow. A Community First Responder is a member of the public who volunteers to help their community by responding to medical emergencies while the ambulance is on its way. If you wanted to become a Community First Responder you would be trained in a wide range of emergency skills, and use specialised equipment such as automatic external defibrillators, aspirin  and oxygen therapy.  You would then be able to provide an early intervention in situations such as a heart  attack or cardiac arrest before the National Ambulance Service crew arrives. This improves patient survival and recovery. Our primary role is to deliver an emergency and urgent care response for communities across Co. Wicklow. We know that in responses to certain conditions, every second counts: e.g. cardiac arrest,   stroke and heart attack. Having considered international evidence  it’s clear that equipping communities with equipment and basic life-saving skills will save lives. WWCFRs objective is to be on the scene of a suspected Heart Attack or Cardiac Arrest within 10 minutes of receiving the Emergency SMS from Ambulance Control. After arriving at the scene our First Responders will be; Giving oxygen therapy. Clearing and controlling the airway of an unconscious patient. Providing resuscitation and defibrillation. Making them feel more comfortable and at ease. Taking basic observations. Reassuring worried relatives and taking charge of the situation. Using local knowledge to ensure that the Ambulance can find the location quickly....

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