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“Save a Life Day 2017” Equipped Members of the Public to Intervene in an Emergency

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Wicklow Rapid Response and Wicklow Town Cardiac First Responders held their second ‘Save a Life Day’ at Sinnott Skoda, Wicklow Town on Saturday 20th May.

Sinnott Autos have sponsored the WWRR rapid response vehicle for the past two years, enabling WWRR to bring the emergency department to the patient in the cases of life threatening illness or injury.

The event was designed to promote public awareness about the Chain of Survival and the important role that members of the public can play in this Chain of Survival, in order to save a life before the arrival of the professional emergency services.

Save a Life Day was also promoting the role of the volunteer Community Cardiac First Responders (CFRs) who respond in their local community and the senior clinical level that the Volunteer Doctor of Wicklow Rapid Response can bring to the Chain of Survival in County Wicklow.

The event was attended by representatives of the National Ambulance Service, Wicklow Fire Service, Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team and Blood Bikes East in addition to Community First Responders and the Wicklow Rapid Response Doctor.

Free training in the recognition and management of cardiac arrest, defibrillation and choking was provided to all members of the public who attended, with the result that many members of the public in Wicklow are now aware of how they can help in the case of an emergency.

WWRR were delighted to be joined on the day by Alison Slater and her family. Ali was one of the youngest patients attended to by WWRR and the National Ambulance Service when she suffered a life threatening anaphylactic reaction on Valentine’s day this year. The WWRR doctor was first on scene and administered medication to reverse the reaction while the ambulance was en route. The WWRR doctor accompanied the patient to hospital, where she made a full recovery.

WWRR Chairman, Colm Dempsey said: “This case was a perfect example of WWRR and the National Ambulance Service delivering an integrated response to a life threatening emergency. Because the WWRR Skoda Yeti, RRV is tracked by ambulance control, the dispatcher was able to direct the doctor to the scene as the closest resource, followed by the emergency ambulance.”

The Volunteer Doctor and the WWRR team are, when available, always ready to respond to critical emergencies at the request of the National Ambulance Service.

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Community First Responders such as Wicklow Town CFRs and similar CFR groups across Co. Wicklow, are volunteers who live or work in their community and help by providing an early response in the provision of primary lifesaving support to people who have called 999/112 and requested an ambulance because they are dealing with a Cardiac Arrest, Heart Attack (Chest Pain), choking or someone having a Stroke.

The Ambulance Service Control Centre alerts CFRs when required, and the volunteer responders who are on duty will respond and provide care to the patient till the Ambulance arrives.

All volunteers are trained to become A Cardiac First Responder and they will successfully complete a Pre Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) approved Cardiac First Response course.

Chain of Survival

Sadly over 5,000 people in Ireland die every year in out of hospital cardiac arrests.

For every minute a patient is in cardiac arrest, their chances of survival decrease by 10%. It is essential that members of the public are able to perform CPR and use a defibrillator in the first few minutes.

The 5 links in the chain of survival are:

  • Recognitionof cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system
  • Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)with an emphasis on chest compressions
  • Rapid defibrillation
  • Basic and advanced emergency medical services
  • Advanced life support and post-cardiac arrest care

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Thanks to the combined efforts of all involved, these links were completed at scene.

Wicklow Rapid Response is a voluntary organisation, which aims to provide near Intensive Care level treatment for our local communities in the pre-hospital environment, where there are life-threatening circumstances. Our volunteer emergency medical Doctor, who specialises in pre hospital emergency medicine, using the Skoda Yeti Rapid Response vehicle, to rapidly respond is declared as a National Ambulance Service Assets. He is called simultaneously with the Ambulance, when a serious emergency occurs.

Wicklow Town CFR meets monthly for training and is always seeking new volunteers to respond and fundraise Contact: cfrwicklowtown@gmail.com

Contact details for other CFR groups in Co. Wicklow wicklowcardiacfirstresponders@gmail.com

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