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London Ambulance Service launches cardiac awareness film for South Asians

The London Ambulance Service and its interpreting partner Language Line recently screened a new bilingual DVD, ‘Cardiac Arrest’, to members of the public at the Brent Sikh Centre.

The groundbreaking film, the first of its kind in the UK, aims to raise awareness of the increased risk of coronary heart disease amongst people from South Asian backgrounds and tells the story of a family affected by cardiac arrest. The DVD demonstrates the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, how to call for emergency medical assistance for those who do not speak English, and publicises the free life-saving courses that the London Ambulance Service offers members of the public.

The London Ambulance Service and Language Line, provider of interpreting and translation services, were joined by the British Heart Foundation for the event. Members of the congregation gave feedback on the film and were given the opportunity to learn more about basic life support, and the ways to help prevent heart disease through healthy living.

All those asked felt that the DVD had made them feel more confident in recognising the signs of a heart attack and calling for an ambulance. The majority of those polled (80 per cent) expressed an interest in learning more about basic life-support training, offered free of charge by the London Ambulance Service.

Ricky Lawrence, Diversity Officer for the London Ambulance Service, said: “We are very grateful to the congregation at the Brent Sikh Centre for the opportunity to launch the film here and have had some invaluable feedback. The London Ambulance Service is called to thousands of cases of heart attacks each year and we know that every second counts for patients who have suffered a cardiac arrest. We hope that this DVD will help to raise awareness of the risks and encourage people to be more informed and confident in calling ‘999’, especially where English is not their first language. We hope this will encourage people from all backgrounds to learn life-saving techniques.”

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Notes to editors

  • Heart disease is the biggest killer in the UK.
  • South Asians living in the UK are 50% more likely to suffer from the condition than the rest of the population.
  • Each year, the London Ambulance Service is called to over 38,000 incidents involving a patient suffering ‘chest pains’, one of the main symptoms of a heart attack.
  • Early recognition of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and early intervention to treat patients can make the difference between life and death.
  • The London Ambulance Service offers free training in cardioulmonary resuscitation (CPR) which can help save the life of someone whose heart has stopped.
  • Language Line offers a translating and interpreting service which allows instant translating of 999 calls.
  • Language Line translated 1,273 Gujarati and 812 Punjabi 999 calls in 2004.

For more information or for pictures from the event, please contact the communications department on 020 7921 5113.