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Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest- Strategy for Scotland

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is a significant healthcare challenge in Scotland. Approximately 3,500 people undergo attempted resuscitation each year after OHCA, but currently only around 1 in 20 survive to hospital discharge.

Maureen Watt, MSP Minister for Public Health

In March 2015, the Scottish Government produced the Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest - Strategy for Scotland (PDF) document, which sets out a partnership commitment to improve survival, the primary aim being to save an additional 1000 lives by 2020.

As a partner organisation, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland is working towards achieving this goal in several ways:


Increasing public awareness of the need to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and initiate it when necessary

salfs-logoLearning CPR is easy, being the brave person who says ‘I’ll do it’ is the hard part. Take a look at the ‘Simple Steps to Save a Life’ (PDF) and find out about training near you by inserting your postcode at the Save a Life for Scotland Scotland www.savealife.scot.


Enhancing the availability of public access defibrillators

lucky2bhere logoDefibrillators are devices which help to return the hearts normal beat. Public access defibrillators are found in public areas such as airports and shopping centres. They are specially designed for the public to use, require no medical training, and when used promptly can dramatically increase the chance of survival. Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland link with a variety of local charities who can provide further information such as  Lucky2BHere www.lucky2bhere.org based on the Isle of Skye.


Encouraging improvements in prehospital and advanced hospital care

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland has a long standing history of supporting cutting edge research. This has included funding groundbreaking studies conducted by the Edinburgh Medical Emergency Group (www.emergeresearch.org )  and Resuscitation Research Group (www.rrg-edinburgh.com ), work which has truly increased survival and influenced advanced medical practice, such as: TOPCAT; TOPCAT2 , which led to the development of Edinburgh’s award winning Resuscitation Rapid Response Unit (3RU); and currently, Lights, Camera, Action!


Supporting survivors, their families and caring for those who are bereaved

In May 2016, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland commenced work on the national strategy ambition to improve rehabilitation support and aftercare for survivors, their families, and those who are bereaved. This work will see the development of two on-line resources, one to support those affected by cardiac arrest, and the second to enhance the knowledge and skills of those involved in their care. For further information about this work please contact; Caitrian Guthrie, Project Lead, Caitrian.Guthrie@chss.org.uk or 0131 225 6963.