08:21 Saturday 04 January 2014

Heart attack clip could save lives

Written byRICHARD CASTLE

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A ST John Ambulance worker who saved the life of a punter at Uttoxeter Racecourse is calling on the people of Uttoxeter to make a New Year’s resolution to watch a new heart attack recognition video.

In 2011, St John Ambulance volunteer Jon Mannion was on duty at Uttoxeter Racecourse when he was called to the stands to deal with a man in his late 60s.

The man had been feeling unwell but still decided to go to the races.

And, when he started exhibiting symptoms of a heart attack, Mr Mannion dealt with the threat swiftly and his patient survived.

He said: “He had classic signs of a heart attack. He was cold, clammy and very grey and was complaining of pain in his chest and arm.

“We removed him from the stands and took him to our medical room, where we gave him aspirin and oxygen and called an ambulance which took him to hospital.”

Now, as new figures show 97 per cent of people in the West Midlands break New Year resolutions, Mr Mannion and his colleagues are urging people in Uttoxeter to ‘make one that they can easily keep’ in 2014.

The first aid charity is urging everyone to watch and share a six-second online film at www.sja.org.uk/4ps.

The clip shows viewers how to recognise the first signs of a heart attack and ‘be the difference’ between a life lost and a life saved.

Keith Hunter, regional director for St John Ambulance in the West Midlands, said: “The symptoms of a heart attack are known as the ‘Four Ps’ - pain, pulse, pale and perspiration.

“This means pain in the chest, weak or rapid pulse, pale skin and profuse sweating.

“If these signs are spotted swiftly and appropriate treatment is given, a heart attack may not lead to a potentially fatal cardiac arrest when the person stops breathing and requires resuscitation.

“We want to give people the chance to make an achievable and potentially life saving New Year resolution.

“Help us reduce heart attack deaths by watching our quick steps on how to spot a heart attack, and share it with your friends.

“We hope it isn’t but this could be the year you need to use it.”

In the UK, 92,000 people suffer heart attacks each year, with a third of them dying as a result.

And research from St John Ambulance has uncovered the lack of knowledge people in the West Midlands have about heart attacks.

The research shows that more than half of the people in the West Midlands wrongly believe that a heart attack is a cardiac arrest.

It’s latest research found that nearly three-quarters of people in the West Midlands make New Year resolutions but, of that figure, 97% admit to breaking them.

Six per cent of those quizzed said they simply lost interest, 26 per cent said they did not genuinely believe their resolution was achievable in the first place, 13 per cent said it was too time-consuming and six per cent said their resolution was proving too expensive to maintain.

Most resolutions made by people in the region will be broken by Friday January 24.

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