London Ambulance Service CPR trainers save man's life at first aid demo

Community Resuscitation Officer Lynsey Grant

12 October 2015

London Ambulance Service trainers teaching passengers life-saving first aid at a train station put their skills into practice when a man’s heart stopped.

Community Resuscitation Officers Lynsey Grant and Martin Bullock were demonstrating how to use CPR at St Pancras station at around 12.50pm on Tuesday 6 October when they were alerted by station staff of a man who had collapsed for real.

Lynsey, a registered paramedic, said: “I was showing a member of the public how to use a defibrillator when a station worker approached me and said someone was turning blue. When we do demonstrations in public places, we always bring a working defibrillator with us. They are life-saving pieces of equipment and you could need one at any time.”

When Lynsey and Martin reached the patient, he was suffering cardiac arrest. An off-duty police officer was doing CPR on the man in his seventies.

Lynsey added: ”We rushed to the patient and I took over from the bystander who seemed very shocked. I don’t think he’d used CPR in a real situation before but the training is so simple it just kicks in. Martin and I placed the defibrillator on the patient’s chest and delivered one shock before his heart returned to a normal rhythm.”

Moments later, a number of resources including a cycle responder, a motorcycle responder and an advanced paramedic arrived to stabilise the patient.  He was taken by ambulance to University College Hospital as a priority.

Head of First Responders Chris Hartley-Sharpe thinks this is a perfect example of why it’s important Londoners learn first aid and London has plenty of publically-accessible defibrillators.

He said: “This really shows how essential CPR and defibrillator training is. It only takes five minutes to learn how to save a life and the skills you learn could be useful anywhere, at any time. There are almost 10,000 cardiac arrests in London a year and around 32 per cent of people survive a cardiac arrest in a public place, but where there is a defibrillator and someone trained to use it, the chance of survival can increase to 80 per cent.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  • A cardiac arrest, which is different from a heart attack, occurs when your heart stops, blood is no longer being pumped around the body and you are clinically dead.
  • The only effective way to restart the heart is to use a defibrillator, which delivers an electric shock to the heart, and is shockingly easy to use.
  • Your chances of surviving a cardiac arrest decrease by 10 per cent every minute without emergency life-support.
  • If you would like to acquire a defibrillator for your business or community centre, please call 020 7783 2366 or email shockinglyeasy@londonambulance.nhs.uk
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