GWAAC and Cheltenham Samaritans partner in heart campaign
By Punchline Reporter | 11th April 2023
Thanks to the Cheltenham branch of the Samaritans, working with the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, residents in the community will have the best chance for survival if they suffer a cardiac arrest. There is now a public access defibrillator on the building at Victoria House, at the back of Albert Place and it is ready for use if required.
In 2022, 28% of callouts for Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) were to people suffering a cardiac arrest. Fewer than 1 in 10 will survive a cardiac arrest in the UK, but with early bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) plus defibrillation within 3-5 min of collapse, survival rates as high as 49-75%* can be achieved.
This year, the Cheltenham branch of the Samaritans will have been open for 60 years providing emotional support to those struggling to cope.
To improve outcomes for the shared community and see fewer avoidable death, GWAAC wants anyone who suffers a cardiac arrest to receive immediate CPR and defibrillation so that more people like Forrest Wheeler who collapsed in Pittville Park, Cheltenham, receive early CPR and early defibrillation. GWAAC's Critical Care Team put Forrest in an induced coma, and he survived.
Forest Wheeler, a cardiac arrest survivor said: "If anyone takes anything away from my story, it's that if you have any hesitations about using a defibrillator - don't. My message is, just use it. The machine tells you what to do, it's so easy and it's better to give it a go than not try at all."
If you want to fundraise or purchase a defibrillator for your community, you can get in touch with the GWAAC team.
GWAAC provides the critical care and air ambulance service for 2.1 million people across Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, and parts of Wiltshire.
*Source: The National Library of Medicine
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