08:27 Thursday 04 April 2013

SHOCK TO THE HEART

Written byRICH GUTTRIDGE

JUST one in 10 cardiac arrest victims survived after being taken to Burton’s Queen’s Hospital, it has been revealed.

The 11 per cent survival rate was the second lowest in the West Midlands, only bettering Walsall Manor Hospital, and was startlingly low in comparison to Stafford Hospital where, despite its difficulties elsewhere, more than half of victims admitted pulled through.

Bosses at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital insisted the figures needed to be ‘better understood’ before any conclusions were drawn.

The data took into account cases between April 2011 and March 2012, and was released at the request of former Staffordshire ambulance chief Roger Thayne.

Since the period in question the hospital has taken the seal off its glittering new cardiac unit, which was opened in February by former Premier League footballer Fabrice Muamba, himself a victim of the condition.

Dr Craig Stenhouse, the hospital’s medical director, insisted that the staff at the hospital were among the best equipped anywhere to treat cardiac arrest victims and also highlighted the fact that in some cases patients may need to be transferred elsewhere for further treatment.

Despite this, he was unable to explain why there was such as huge gulf between survival rates at his hospital and those elsewhere in the region.

Queen’s was also found to be lagging behind the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, which scored 54 per cent, and the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, which posted 47 per cent.

Dr Stenhouse said: “The data from West Midlands Ambulance Service involves 5,000 patients and has to be very carefully interpreted.

“We have asked the ambulance service for details of the patients involved so we can take a closer look and fully understand what the circumstances are.

“When people arrive in cardiac arrest the chances of mortality are very high. There are so many factors to consider such as how quickly it is recognised, how far away from hospital the victim is, the cause and when CPR started.

“Our staff are trained to ALS (advanced life support) standard and all patients that come to into our A&E are resuscitated in line with ALS guidelines.”

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