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Teenager awarded at Westminster ceremony for helping to resuscitate patient

A 16-year-old boy received an award at the House of Commons on Friday (3 May) for his quick thinking in helping staff from the London Ambulance Service to resuscitate a man whose heart had stopped beating.

Aron Wimsett, from Bexleyheath, was honoured in the Ambulance Service Institute Public Spirited Awards 2007, hosted by Jacqui Lait MP, for his help when an 84-year-old man suffered a cardiac arrest outside his home.

Aron, who had received first-aid training as a cadet in the Air Training Corps, immediately assessed that the patient’s heart had stopped beating, asked his mother to dial 999 for an ambulance and began to give him cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Paramedic Daniel Barnwall, who travelled to the patient in a fast-response car, said: “I arrived to find Aron in full control of the situation. He was giving CPR to good effect and had even laid a blanket on the pavement to stop the patient from getting wet.”

Daniel and an ambulance crew gave the patient’s heart four shocks with a defibrillator; his heartbeat returned and they took him to Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup.

Barnehurst Ambulance Operations Manager Stephanie Adams, who nominated Aron for the award, said: “When someone’s heart stops beating, it’s essential to start CPR as soon as possible and call an ambulance to give them the best chance of survival.

“Aron showed great initiative and composure. If more people followed his example, more people would survive cardiac arrests.”

Aron, who sometimes helps to teach CPR to fellow cadets at the Air Training Corps, said: “I was just trying to make sure my family could see what I was doing in case they had to perform CPR in the future. Other than that I just kept going, hoping the man would come round.”

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Notes to editors:

  • A cardiac arrest occurs when a person’s heart stops. Someone in cardiac arrest will lose consciousness, will not be breathing and will have no signs of circulation.
  • The cardiac arrest survival rate in London has more than doubled in the last six years, according to the latest Service figures published in the 2005/06 Cardiac Arrest Annual Report.
  • Over one in 10 Londoners (10.9 per cent*) who are resuscitated by Service staff or Service-placed public defibrillators are discharged alive from hospital.
  • *The cardiac arrest survival figure is calculated using the Utstein method, which takes into account the number of patients discharged alive from hospital who had resuscitation attempted following a cardiac arrest of presumed cardiac aetiology, and who also had their arrest witnessed by a bystander and an initial cardiac rhythm of ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia.
  • The Service has placed defibrillators in over 110 public places around the capital, and trained many more people to use them. Along with the hard work of staff this has now had a huge effect on survival rates.
  • In 2005/06, London Ambulance Service received over 82,000 calls from patients reporting potential cardiac or chest-pain-related problems.
  • London Ambulance Service provides free CPR training to the public and to businesses at a cost. People who are interested in learning CPR and how to save a life in a medical emergency should call 020 7463 3120 or email [email protected].

For further information about London Ambulance Service or this news release please contact the communications department on 020 7921 5113.