Heart health is at the centre of a ‘takeover’ week by the region’s ambulance service to help avoid health conditions escalating into a need for 999 help.
The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) received more than 3,000 extra calls last year to cardiac-related emergencies.
And there was a 6% increase in cardiac arrest calls in 2015/16 compared with the previous year and a 5% increase in chest pain calls.
A cardiac arrest, when a person has stopped breathing with no heart beat and is unconscious, needs immediate life-saving care such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and a defibrillator.
The Trust is urging people to think about prevention being better than a cure by making some simple lifestyle choices to help their long-term health and help reduce the number of cardiac emergencies.
The Trust received 9,713 calls to cardiac arrests in 2015/16 and 64,286 emergency calls to patients with chest pain.
People are being urged to:
– adopt a healthy balanced diet to help lower cholesterol levels.
– eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and lowering salt intake will improve people’s heart health
– drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week
– stay active by doing a recommended 150 minutes of physical exercise a week
– quit smoking.
Consultant Paramedic Marcus Bailey said: “Cardiac arrests are our highest priority calls and our staff do their very best to resuscitate these patients”.
“However, we are urging people to act now to think about how they avoid a cardiac emergency in the future. It is important that we look after our hearts. Simple steps such as a balanced diet, getting your blood pressure checked and staying active will help avoid a 999 call for an emergency ambulance.”
The service has a cardiac care week until Sunday (6th November) to encourage people to look after their heart and to know what to do in an emergency. You can follow updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using #cardiaccare
For more information, view the new animation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLNGhLUOrTE
County breakdown of cardiac arrest calls in 2015/16 (compared with 2014/15)
Bedfordshire – 947 (915)
Cambridgeshire – 1,208 (1,116)
Essex – 2,977 (2,911)
Hertfordshire – 1,444 (1,426)
Norfolk – 1,814 (1,604)
Suffolk – 1,324 (1,196)
County breakdown of chest pain calls in 2015/16 (compared with 2014/15)
Bedfordshire – 7,246 (6,829)
Cambridgeshire – 8,776 (8,605)
Essex – 20,262 (19,569)
Hertfordshire – 9,633 (8,909)
Norfolk – 10,749 (10,048)
Suffolk – 7,617 (7,516)