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More people saved by ambulance crews

PUBLISHED: 12:54 21 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:54 03 March 2010

MORE lives are being saved by ambulance crews in the county who are reaching patients quicker and resuscitating more people who are in cardiac arrest.

Latest response time figures, for the East Anglian Ambulance service,for April, show that around 76 per cent of Category A (life-threatening) emergency calls were answered within eight minutes.

MORE lives are being saved by ambulance crews in the county who are reaching patients quicker and resuscitating more people who are in cardiac arrest.

Latest response time figures, for the East Anglian Ambulance service,for April, show that around 76 per cent of Category A (life-threatening) emergency calls were answered within eight minutes.

The number of 999 calls has risen in the last year from 10,333 last April to 11,087 this.

If patients are in ventricular fibrillation (VF – rapid twitching of the heart of ventricular tachycardia (VT - abnormally rapid heartbeat) when crews arrive they are more likely to be resuscitated.

The heart only remains in VF or VT for a limited time period, and unless defibrillation occurs within this window there is no chance of survival.

A return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) is recorded if the patient has a pulse when they arrive at hospital.

Director of operations Paul Sutton said the data showed the direct link between speed of response and clinical outcomes.

He said: "The eight minute target isn't just something dreamed up by the government – there are real, tangible benefits to be had by arriving on scene as quickly as possible.

"It's very important for the public and our staff to be able to see why we are being set these ever more demanding targets, and why it's vital that we achieve them.

"As we arrive on scene faster, the number of patients in VF or VT will increase, which gives us a greater chance of being able to save more lives."

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