Fabrice Muamba, Bolton Wanderers and Arrhythmia Alliance, the Heart Rhythm Charity, have launched a year-long campaign - Hearts & Goals - to help prevent death from sudden cardiac arrest.
The campaign will not only raise awareness but will seek to deliver practical benefits by giving communities across the country access to, a targeted, 500 new defibrillators, as well as CPR and defibrillator training so that lives can be saved.
Fabrice said: “I am really pleased to be able to lead this campaign. I was staggered to find out that 100,000 people a year die from sudden cardiac arrest.
“Anyone suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest who is treated with CPR and a defibrillator is ten times more likely to survive than just having CPR alone.
“We have got a number of key initiatives, such as providing CPR training, and I will be learning how to use an AED, and I hope that we can create something really good from this campaign.”
Trudie Lobban MBE, Chief Executive and Founder of Arrhythmia Alliance, said: “What happened to Fabrice last season put the deadly potential of heart rhythm disorders under a national spotlight.
“Fabrice was extremely fortunate to benefit from immediate medical assistance of the highest calibre, and was still very fortunate to survive, many thousands of other people are not so lucky.
“We are honoured to have formed this partnership and believe that the Hearts & Goals campaign provides an extremely valuable and exciting opportunity to increase the number of public-access defibrillators in the UK and to enhance public understanding of how to use them during resuscitation.”
Also joining as partners in the campaign are North West Ambulance Service and the Bolton Wanderers Community Trust.
David McNally, Community Resuscitation Development Manager said: “This is a fantastic campaign and NWAS are delighted to be supporting Hearts & Goals. In the event of a person suffering cardiac arrest, quick action can be taken to give the patient the best chance of survival. It is proven that in every minute that passes without intervention, the chances of survival deceases by 14%. Effective CPR and defibrillation ensures the patient has the best chance of survival. AEDs save lives.”
Ian Laithwaite, head of the Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, said: “We are pleased to be able to play our part in this project. As part of our involvement in the community we will be working with schools and community groups to deliver training in life saving skills that will involve courses in CPR with AEDs.
“As well as this positive practical involvement and provision of key skills we will also be seeking to educate and raise awareness around the issues of sudden cardiac arrest.”
For information on the campaign, its objectives and how to get involved, please visit the Hearts & Goals website at www.heartsandgoals.org
Facts, figures and important points:
1. Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a heart rhythm disorder that results in 100,000 deaths in the UK each year, killing more people each year than lung cancer, breast cancer and Aids combined
2. When CPR is administered to someone who has suffered an SCA, they have just a 5% chance of survival
3. When CPR and an AED (a defibrillator) are used together, the average chance of survival goes up to 50%, a ten-fold increase over CPR alone
4. If used in the first four minutes after SCA, defibrillators can give victims an 80% chance of survival - a massive 16-fold increase in survival compared to CPR alone. However, the survival rate drops by 10% for every additional minute.
5. AEDs are defibrillators that any member of the public can use without training to resuscitate someone who has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest
6. AEDs come equipped with an internal computer and automated voice, which guides users through every step. They monitor heart activity once pads are fitted to the patient and instruct the user accordingly based on the readings they take. AEDs also internally self-test, provide a clear indication with a green or red light whether there is any fault