When you go into cardiac arrest, your brain has only two minutes’ worth of oxygen. These few minutes are crucial, if blood flow is not restarted to the brain it will lead to cell damage and cells in the brain start to die.
I have to confess, I wasn’t watching that game. It was only after checking social media I learnt about the news that former Tottenham and Danish star Christian Eriksen had collapsed on the pitch.
Thankfully, he survived and is in a stable condition. No doubt partially due to his age and healthy lifestyle, but a crucial factor was likely due to the speedy action of the on-site medics who quickly assessed his situation and started CPR. The defibrillator was rushed to the scene and even if it wasn’t used – it was ready and waiting.
Once a person’s heart stops, every five seconds where no chest compressions happen, the likelihood of survival drops dramatically. It is absolutely critical in the first moments of a cardiac arrest that effective CPR is given. The issue is that paramedics are generally unable to reach patients during those first few critical minutes.
In Norway, the survival chance of a person who suffers from a cardiac arrest outside of hospital is 25%, compare that with London which has a survival rate of only 10.8%. Why is there such a major difference?
In Norway CPR and basic life support is routinely taught to all teenagers as part of the national curriculum, yet the UK fails to adequately prepare the public for such an eventuality. A survey showed that there is a significant reluctance to perform CPR with 40%