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October 2015

16Oct 2015

Fears Over CPR Put Thousands At Risk

Thousands of schoolchildren are being taught how to perform CPR as figures show a lack of knowledge is putting lives at risk.

Fewer than half of people would perform CPR on someone suffering a cardiac arrest, a charity has warned.

The public’s lack of knowledge and a fear of helping are to blame, according to research by the University of Warwick.

It has been revealed that bystanders who witness a cardiac arrest perform CPR in only four out of 10 cases in the UK.

This compares with rates of almost three quarters (73%) in Norway, where survival rates are up to three times as high.

And the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has warned the reluctance to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation is leaving seriously ill people facing a “dismal fate”.

For the full story: http://news.sky.com/story/1570441/fears-over-cpr-put-thousands-at-risk

15Oct 2015

RC (UK) Resuscitation Guidelines 2015 Published Today

The Resuscitation Council (UK) published new resuscitation guidelines online on 15 October 2015 following the review of resuscitation science by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR).

Changes in the guidelines are based on the available science and aimed at simplifying clinical practice, enhancing education, and improving outcomes. The process used by the Resuscitation Council (UK) to develop and update its guidelines has NICE accreditation.

The publication of new and revised treatment recommendations does not necessarily imply that current care is either unsafe or ineffective.

These new guidelines are the culmination of many years of international collaboration to improve the practice and teaching of resuscitation medicine in order to improve survival from cardiorespiratory arrest. English ambulance services initiate resuscitation on about 28,000 people who sustain an Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) each year (52 cases per 100,000 inhabitants) and approximately 8% survive to leave hospital. Data from the UK National Cardiac Arrest Audit (NCAA) indicate that in-hospital cardiac arrest occurs in 1.6 per 1000 hospital admissions with rate of survival to hospital discharge of 18.4%.4 Recent international data suggest that survival rates after both in- and out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are slowly improving. It is hoped that refinements in resuscitation guidelines will continue to contribute to increasing survival rates.

For more information and to view the updated guidelines, visit the Resuscitation Council website at www.resus.org.uk.

1Oct 2015

Smoking in cars with children banned from today

Smokers are being given one more reason to quit as new laws come into force which make it illegal for anyone to smoke in vehicles with children present. The new law is designed to help protect children from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

Under the ban both the driver and the smoker can be fined £50 if anyone smokes in a vehicle with a person who is under 18.

Newcastle University, Public Health England and Fresh Smoke Free North East conducted an experiment to highlight the dangers of exposure to secondhand smoke in vehicles. This tested the levels of dangerous chemicals (fine particles known as PM2.5) to which children can be exposed in the back seat of a car when a driver is smoking.

Despite what people might think, opening the car windows does not remove the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. The experiment showed that even with the window open, levels of dangerous chemicals were more than 100 times higher than recommended safety guidelines.

Over 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible, and parents can be unaware of the exposure to which children are often subjected, particularly in enclosed spaces such as vehicles. Children are particularly vulnerable as they breathe more rapidly and have less developed airways and immune systems.

Health risks

Secondhand smoke is made up of over 4,000 chemicals, more than 50 of which cause cancer. Approximately three million children in England are currently exposed to secondhand smoke in a vehicle,  which puts them at risk of serious conditions including meningitis and respiratory infections such as bronchitis. Exposure to secondhand smoke results in over 300,000 general practice consultations and an estimated 9,500 hospital admissions in the UK each year.