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SHOCK TO THE HEART

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 04, 2013

Comments (6)

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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6 comments

  • frustratedresident  |  April 11 2013, 9:01PM

    @burhan - just try using the place when you have a life threatening problem, a couple of our family have, (which obvously I hope you never do) but have to say the place is fantastic and so are the staff. Unfortunitely it's always the same - minority bad news wins every time just as implied in my first comment!

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  • Burhan  |  April 08 2013, 10:45AM

    @frustratedresident - I'm afraid you're not uptodate with the latest Re: Queens Hospital Burton. It's noway near as being the 'finest hospital', infact ots the otherway round. It's one of the 'concerning' trusts reported.

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  • frustratedresident  |  April 05 2013, 5:42PM

    I know everyone likes to read shocking 'facts' it's what sells newspapers, readership would probably be alot less if the headline was 'All fine at Queens Hospital' etc :) But what we must remember is we have the finest hospital in the country with the highest trained staff and latest equipment backed up by one of the most advanced intensive care units, this means people are taken there from all over the Midlands and further afield as a 'last chance saloon' sometimes after being stablised at their local hospital but other times directly to Queens. If the addresses of the deceased were taken into account the figures would not be quite so shocking or worrying for Burton folk.

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  • Kev305  |  April 04 2013, 6:39PM

    I know someone (who shall remain nameless) who felt ill at work. He was taken by a work colleague to Queens Hospital at Burton and was discharged. He then had another mini stroke outside in the hospital car park. Luckily he survived. Had he died then who would take responsibility for discharging him?

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  • brewers23  |  April 04 2013, 2:54PM

    Let's put these figures into some sort of perspective. The probability of survivng an out of hospital cardiac arrest is small. Percentages are meaningless without being put into context. A recent study from the USA shows out of 142000 patients having an out of hospital arrest, 23.8% survived to reach hospital, i.e. approximately 30000 reached hospital alive. Of the 142000, less than 8% survived to hospital discharge, approximately 1200. The authors estimate that 166000 people per year in the whole of the USA have an out of hospital cardiac arrest.(Sasson et al 2010). If Queens in Burton sees 10 prehospital cardiac arrests and only one survives then that is 10% survival rate, if another hospital sees only 1 pre-hospital cardiac arrest and they survive then that is a 100% survival rate, equally if that single person doesn't survive then the survival rate is 0%! Why is it only data from West Midlands ambulance service being taken into account when East Midlands Ambulance Service also take patients to Queen's? Is the 5000 the total number of pre-hospital cardiac arrests or the number surviving to hospital? Applying the findings from Sasson et al(2010) to the 5000, this would give approximately 1200 survivng to reach hospital and 400 surviving to discharge. What is not apparent is how many of these patients go to each hospital and how many survive to discharge, as indicated above if only two go to Shrewsbury and one survves then they have a survival rate of 50%, but it is a meaningless number, what is needed is the absolute figures.

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  • Burhan  |  April 04 2013, 9:34AM

    Immediate first aid defibrillaton is paramount to revive a casuality - otherwise, its too late by the time suffer gets to hospital. Very concerning figures nonetheless

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