An Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) Steering group has recently produced an Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Strategy for Ireland, “Putting Survival at the Heart of the Community.” The overall aim of the OHCA Strategy is to increase the number of people who survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest in the Republic of Ireland through the development, implementation and evaluation of an out of hospital cardiac arrest strategy to increase survival rates. This work will support the National Ambulance Service (NAS) and Community First Responder Ireland (CFR Ireland) in their commitment to improve clinical outcomes for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA).
The Strategy aims to make Ireland a leading ‘beating heart’ in Europe as a result of implementing a strategic plan derived from national and international experience in implementing targets which address all the elements in the Chain of Survival. In order to achieve the aims outlined, the Strategy discusses, among many other things, maximising public awareness of how to recognise OHCA; reducing emergency response time; the importance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation training; bystander CPR training; ‘CPR 4 Schools’; CPR training in local communities; CPR training for government and HSE employees; the establishment of 250 Community First Responder Schemes in Ireland by 2020; guidance on the purchase, display, positioning, accessing, use and maintenance of automated external defibrillators and much more.
The report has recently been finalised and when launched it is anticipated that the report of the OHCA Steering group will provide advice to the HSE and the Department on the most effective ways of addressing all of the elements in the Chain of Survival and improving survival rates for those suffering an out of hospital cardiac arrest.