Cardiac arrest ‘bootcamp’ coming to a station near you

We know that cardiac arrest survival is linked to lots of factors – good CPR at the right rate and depth is just the starting point.

So what more can we do for these people, the most life-threatened patients we see?

Sixteen of our senior clinical leads looked at just that when they took part in a brand new cardiac arrest Bootcamp on Saturday (2nd July), at the Trust HQ in Melbourn.

Attendees, who included representatives from EOC, our area clinical leads, critical care and training teams, and Deputy Medical Director Dr Tom Davis, got the chance to cover everything from traumatic cardiac arrest and ECGs through to communication skills and scene management. The team also got introduced to an updated cardiac arrest checklist which will be rolled out Trust-wide to support staff in providing high quality cardiac resuscitation.

The bootcamp instructors, made up of experienced doctors and paramedics from fellow UK ambulance services, put the group through their paces, asking them to get hands on in practising crew resource management, using a stepwise airway cascade, using the EZ-IO, and the Lucas-2 (an automated CPR machine) in simulated arrest scenarios.

Arranged by Daimon Wheddon and Dave Sexby from the clinical directorate, the objective now is for the session to be rolled out across the Trust for all colleagues to take part – with the next workshop already on the cards for Tuesday (12th) in Luton.

Dave said: “It was a really fast-paced but interesting workshop, with lots of opportunity to refresh practical skills as well as learn from industry experts. We’re really grateful to everyone who took time out of their weekend to come along, and we’re now really looking forward to being able to share the learning with patient-facing colleagues across the Trust.”

Although TV dramas might suggest otherwise, in England, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates are around just 10%. Improving the whole cycle of care given to these patients from the moment the arrest happens is vital to their chances of survival; cardiac arrest care, including return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and survival to discharge results, remains one of our clinical priorities for the year.

Daimon said: “In 2015/16, our ROSC rate for cardiac arrest patients was 26.7%, which is an increase of 2.6% on the previous year. In simple terms, that means we’re giving more patients a better chance of survival – it’s a fantastic achievement and goes to show the high level of clinical care being provided to this group of critically ill people. 

“With this workshop, we hope to really build on that care and knowledge. It looks at the cardiac arrest as a whole, from the physiology of what can cause it, how the system is designed to respond to the patient, and how as clinicians we can improve our communications on scene to optimise the patient’s outcome. Session dates will be shared in locality areas and here on Need to Know, and I’d really encourage as many people as possible to come along and join us.”

If you’d like to book a place on Tuesday’s session in Luton, please email Area Clinical Lead Sarah Stead at Want to know more about the day? Look back at our live tweeting using #EEASTlearning.

Published 7th July, 2016

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