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A campaign to reduce the number of people dying from cardiac arrests in the UK has begun on Teesside with an emphasis on a citizen first response; which has helped improve survival rates in other areas such as Copenhagen to nearly 40%.  Currently 30,000 people suffer an out of hospital cardiac arrest in the UK with only 1 in 10 surviving.

Andy Thomas, CEO of CIPHER Medical and Aaron Mallinson, Education Lead at CIPHER welcomed a group of sports coaches from Teesside Lions to deliver CPR & Defibrillator training to the participants; some as young as 10 and 12 years old.

Aaron, a Paramedic and advanced trainer said “There is a common misconception around CPR and Defibrillator use, in that you must be an adult to deliver. This is certainly not the case and we advocate for training to be part of the National Curriculum in primary schools as well as secondary.

“Ultimately this is a life and death situation and anyone, even a child with basic CPR and defibrillator training can improve the survival rates in a cardiac arrest victims as it takes a system to save a life”.

Andy presented a defibrillator to coaches from Teesside Lions as part of a sponsorship partnership and led training to the group along with other team members at CIPHER’s training and education centre within their Stockton headquarters.

Andy, a consultant paramedic, stated:

“Anyone doing something is better than someone doing nothing.

“If we can increase the number of people with training and access to equipment, we can increase the number of citizen responders who can reach a victim quicker than an ambulance. The delivery of this urgent citizen response prior to the paramedics arriving is a critical stage that will save lives.”

“It was a refreshing & awakening experience to realise how simple and effective the training is.” – James Thomson, Teesside Lions

With a basketball theme and nod to the recent sponsorship of Teesside Lions the ‘Heart Defence’ campaign aims to reverse the fatality rates locally by raising awareness in the region.

James Thomson, Chairman of Teesside Lions said: “It was a refreshing and awakening experience for many of our organisation to learn how simple and effective this training is. As a club we are better placed to look after our members, spectators and the wider general public.

“It is also an honour to have a basketball reference within the campaign and for us to help support and promote this.”

This campaign is just a small part of the wider effort made by various organisations within our region including excellent work by the ambulance services and local charities such as DS43 Community Defibrillators in Hartlepool and the CPAD Ingleby Barwick Fund.

CIPHER are a medical services company which provides education and training to a wide range of professionals, community groups and the public. Highly qualified trainers, many of whom are paramedics, deliver training and industry standard qualifications from introductory sessions for schools and community groups to advanced CPD for senior medical professionals.

The typical cardiac arrest victim is no longer the elderly frail person. There has been an increase in cardiac arrests during sporting events, with many high-profile professional sports people also being affected. 

CIPHER & Teesside Lions have launched Heart Defence; a local campaign to switch focus from attack to defence

One of the most high-profile cases involved football star Cristian Eriksen, who endured a Cardiac Arrest during a game in the Euro 2020 competition. Eriksen was saved by quick response and use of a defibrillator. This is indicative of how cardiac arrests can affect anyone at any time and the importance of knowledge, training, equipment, and speed of action is critical to save not only strangers but also loved ones.

On the back of Eriksen’s dramatic on-pitch incident, witnessed my millions around the world, volunteers for the Heart Runner App in Denmark increased significantly. The App allows emergency services to direct citizen responders in the immediate vicinity to those in need while awaiting paramedic arrival. There are currently more than 150,000 citizen responders in Denmark.

In the UK the Good Sam App allows the ambulance services to deploy off duty health professionals to incidents and it is hoped we may see a wider approach to anyone trained supporting this kind of response.

Children as young as 10 years old learned CPR technique and how to use a defibrillator

In September 2020 the UK Government introduced First Aid & CPR training as part of the National Curriculum with a recommendation that schools should provide access to courses for all pupils and staff. This is compulsory for secondary schools in England, while in Northern Ireland they are leading the way for the home countries with primary school children also being taught on the National Curriculum.

Andy, who employs more than 450 people in the region said: “As a community we do need to raise our game. Schools should have defibrillators. Staff and pupils should have regular training. We are here to help. The results are significant, and the course will in time be accepted as common knowledge. The machine will do the majority of the work itself and provides clear and basic instruction throughout. The idea that something can go wrong is a myth and with the training and access to equipment come assurance and understanding that literally saves lives.”

“We would also welcome local primary schools contacting us to come in and carry out awareness days of which we have done several in 2022 as part of our community engagement programme”.

CIPHER along with many other groups in our region will continue to work with schools and community groups across the region to deliver training and supply equipment to ensure by working together we increase survival rates.

If you would like to discuss your training or equipment needs visit www.CIPHERmedical.com or call 01642 265220. Training can be provided on site, in the classroom or at CIPHER’s training facility in Stockton.

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