What effect has Covid-19 had on SCAs?

15/04/20

Covid-19 isn’t just bad news for those who catch the disease – it also poses an unprecedented challenge for those who need hospital treatment for other reasons.

The British Heart Foundation has already expressed concerns that fewer people are going to hospital with heart conditions following the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Compounding this, while the UK is on lockdown, those people who suffer from a sudden cardiac arrest are likely to be at home without access to a defibrillator and – in some cases – no knowledge of CPR. Each year, there are more than 30,000 cardiac arrests in the UK and approximately 80% of those outside of a hospital take place at home.

We know that the chances of survival are dramatically increased with early intervention via a defibrillator, but with so many of us kept away from the work and public places that would likely have an AED – how can we stay safe?


Unfortunately, while vulnerability to heart attacks is primarily seen as an “older person’s problem,” SCAs can happen to anyone, at any time, anywhere.

To help protect your household during lockdown, we’ve created these first steps:

Research the signs and symptoms of an SCA. Don’t be tempted to ignore signs because of Covid-19 as the NHS still has systems in place to help people suffering from heart attacks.

If you’d like to know in more detail about possible symptoms, read our “AED How to Save a Life Guide” that will walk you through all of the crucial steps involved in the ‘chain of survival.’

If you don’t know CPR yet, you can access training videos online while on lockdown which can help teach you with important, life-saving measures such as putting somebody into the recovery position. The Resuscitation Council has produced this useful video which will demonstrate best practice.

For more information one how to spot the signs of an SCA, click here.


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