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YOU CAN SAVE A LIFE

 

Cardiac arrest As part of our obligation as a doctor we have to have annual update cardiopulmonary resuscitation training and this also applies to the whole practice team.

We have found over the past few years that it makes sense to have sessions which include a cross-section of staff and even opening it up to patients that want to participate aswell as the the young adults of staff.

A report of a rare miraculously saving of a life 

On December 23rd 2017 Dr Livingston was cosily at home recharging her batteries after a very busy surgery watching “Love Actually” with her daughter and her boyfriend when there was a loud frantic knock at the door. It was the  nextdoor neighbour she was totally beside herself. Her husband had collapsed.

Dr Livingston knew he had heart problems so she immediately went into ‘doctor mode’ She instructed the 2 teenagers ( her daughter had attended CPR training ago but her boyfriend had never attended any training) to bring their phones  ( not usually far from there sides, anyway!) Her daughter who remembered that there was a pocket mask strapped to the stairs in the hall had the presence of mind to grab that as well and the team hurriedly followed the neighbour to the house.  Sure enough the husband was sited against a wall in a collapsed state. Immediate assessment demonstrated he was unrousable, not breathing and with no pulse. He had had a cardiac arrest.

The team managed to drag him onto the kitchen floor. Instantly  the learnt procedure was put into action, and Dr Livingston allocated instructions to her team- the boyfriend called 999 and was communicating with the ambulance service ,very calmly listening and responding appropriately to their questions.

Meanwhile, Dr Livingston had immediately started CPR (basic life support with my daughter). Her daughter maintained good airway and Dr Livingston commenced chest compressions. She commented how exhausting it was and infact had not performed  this for many years in a ‘real situation’ and then only in a hospital situation. Her daughter astutely observed that her mother was getting tired and then took over cardiac compressions. Before the ambulance arrived a police car arrived with a defibrillator. Although she had had training on this but she had never actually used and automated external defibrillator. They followed the spoken voice instructions it gave them.

After about 3 shocks the A.E.D said in a clear voice ‘movement detected’. The team paused in shear amazement ‘It was incredible,’ commented Dr Livingston.

Subsequently, two ambulance crews arrived and they took over and when he seemed stable the patient was transferred to Ealing Hospital. On arrival at hospital the Glasgow coma scale was used to assess the severity of brain injury and prognosis. The initial Glasgow Coma Scale provides a score in the range 3-15; patients with scores of 3-8 are usually said to be in a coma, remarkably his was 15.

This was a true miracle, as it is reported that of cardiac arrests in a hospital set up only 7% of people survive this man not only lived to tell the tale but survived his near-death experience without any damage to his heart muscle or his brain, an outcome extremely rarely seen following an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

When Dr Livingston and myself discussed this, I felt empowered to blog about this and Dr Livingston felt it was paramount to share her story with other GP’s by posting on a closed facebook page called Resilient GPs. Usually she would get 1 or 2 responses  but on this occasion had over 700 !!

Many GP’s after reading the account  decided to open up their basic life support training to the staff’s teenagers and family and purchase pocket masks and keep them at home and in the car. Dr Livingston will be advocating to all staff and both her daughters to put a pocket mask in their  cars.

Moreover, the practice would be prepared to offer hosting CPR courses at the surgery for anyone interested or facilitate where a course could be done. 

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When the team  got back home after lots of cups of tea Dr Livingston asked her daughter how she was feeling and was she upset by it?

She admitted it was scary but even though it was 2 years since she had attended the course she said the thing she particularly remembered the trainer saying, 

‘If you dont do anything they will die so you may as well try. Even if just do chest compression that will help. That is what everyone needs to know- have a go !!’

 Dr Livingston felt immensely proud of these teenagers , who not only immediately jumped into action without thinking  but ‘saved a life’.

Well done – an absolute game – changer. 

A week after this there was routine practice training update. The first time with the new practice defibrillator. The trainer simulated a cardiac arrest, which was brilliant, but completely forgot the practices had it’s own device.!!

The most important thing if some one has a cardiac arrest is to fibrillate as soon as possible

A few days later Dr Livingston  passed the gentleman’s son in the street and asked how his father was feeling. He replied, ” he seems fine but that his ribs were aching a lot” he was virtually totally unaware of the magnitude of what had happened and not only had he survived but that his life had been restored without brain injury.

As days went by it gradually it registered this man’s life had been saved by a team that was confident and empowered to act quickly and efficiently and then the team were showered with gifts!

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You could easily learn this skill and be a potential life-saver.

The British Heart Foundation are determined to transform the UK into a Nation of Lifesavers: a country where everyone knows how to save a life.

https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/how-to-save-a-life

Also you could inform the surgery that you wish to participate in training and when enough people have signed up they will arrange a session.

 

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ARE YOU LOOKING AFTER YOUR HEART? – HAPPY VALENTINES DAY…….

     HELP YOUR HEART BY SMALL CHANGES.              

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Stressed out?

Stress is a word people use for feeling they feel when everything gets too much.

You might get this if:-

  • You have too much to do
  • If other people are asking a lot of you
  • You are having to deal with things you can’t control

To help keep your heart healthy, you need to take care of your body and your mind

You have a choice in that you can choose how you want to control your life and change it for the better by just taking

10 minutes out.

How does stress affect your heart?

Being stressed often makes you do things which are bad for your heart:-

  • smoking – stop to think whether you could consider a quit smoking day and contact Smokefree Ealing by calling 0208 579 8622 or visit http://www.smokefreeealing.co.uk
  • drinking too much – if you need support contact RISE –  http://www.ealingrise.org.uk
    Phone: 020 8843 5900
    24hrs: 0800 195 8100
  • eating unhealthy foods that are high in saturated fat and salt so that you put on too much weight, raise your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.- contact your GP for advice or screening.

If you  smoke , have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or are overweight, you are more likely to get coronary heart disease, which means you might get angina or have a heart attack.

Drinking too much alcohol can cause problems with your heart rhythm, high blood pressure and damage your heart muscle.

If you have stresses you need help with contact IAPT  Self-referral line: 020 3313 5660 or visit :-

http://www.wlmht.nhs.uk/service/ealing-iapt/

find out more about dealing with stress and helping your heart.  download the following:-

Heart

https://www.bhf.org.uk/~/media/files/publications/other-prevention/g926_take_time_out_01_14.pdf

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 14, 2015 in Training and Advice

 

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FEEDBACK FROM PATIENT – CPR TRAINING

Recently we held a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation training afternoon at the surgery. This is compulsory for all surgery staff to attend on a regular basis. On this occasion we also advertised it in the surgery as an open invitation to any patients to attend. We felt that it was good to members of the public (patients) to be given the opportunity to attend as these will be the people we may be working with if an event should happen.
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However, the interest was less than we expected but one patient wrote the following:-

I wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to attend your first aid training course, it was a privilege to be able to attend. Although I had attended a first aid course a few years ago, I found that the quality and content of this one, was superior. The course covered a range of topics including CPR, care of the unconscious patient, choking, anaphylaxis and heart attacks, with plenty of opportunities to practice and get involved. I found the use of a dummy to practice CPR particularly useful as was the discussion of the realistic scenarios one might face and the best course of action to take. This is something, that was certainly lacking in the course I attended previously. The interaction with the other members of the audience was also very useful. Since a number of staff members, doctors and nurses from the avenue and other surgeries attended, I had the opportunity to hear of their opinions and methods when it comes to first aid. Overall I found the course very insightful, helpful and satisfying. I would strongly recommend it to everyone be it healthcare professionals or patients. The skills you learn can literally make the difference between life and death.
I think that it’s wonderful that the surgery is allowing patients to attend these courses. I think this is a wonderful opportunity for everyone and the price is extremely competitive to the say least. I will most certainly be looking out for any other courses like this that might be available.

Thank you to this patient for sending me their comments. When I have attended this course before expectant parents seem to be the most interested especially as these training sessions cover accidents and acute problems in children.
If you would be interested in attending a CPR training session please contact
Sangeeta Kathuria ( practise manager) http://www.sangeeta.kathuria@nhs.net
It would be helpful if you could suggest what time and day would be most convenient- the sessions usually last 3 hours.

 

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