Health – Freiburg im Breisgau – Care of cardiac arrest patients should be better – Health

Freiburg (dpa) – In the case of a cardiac arrest, very quick help is required. Patients are sometimes dependent on first aiders to get the heart pumping again. Baden-Württemberg is now leading the way here. It is the first federal state to introduce a nationwide system for alerting first responders via smartphone app, said the chairman of the German Council for Resuscitation (GRC), Prof. Bernd Böttiger, the German Press Agency.

What is new about the project, which was officially launched on Thursday, is that the volunteers are not only alerted in their actual area of ​​work, but also when they are on vacation or on an appointment in another district, for example. Among other things, the helpers can then indicate which means of transport they have in order to calculate the time required to reach the patient, as Michael Müller, first chairman of the Lifesaver Region Association and thus responsible for the project, explained in Freiburg.

“First aid systems are a great thing,” said Böttiger, who is also director of the clinic for anesthesiology and surgical intensive care at the University Hospital in Cologne. “I maintain that such a system across Germany could save even more lives than a seat belt.”

According to preliminary figures from the Federal Statistical Office, 2569 people died in traffic accidents in Germany in the Corona year 2021. You would face around 70,000 deaths from cardiac arrest, said Böttiger. Billions would be spent on road safety, for example for airbags and crash barriers. “Rightly so, but if we put just a fraction of that into helping with cardiac arrest, we’d have 10,000 fewer deaths every year.”

From Böttiger’s point of view, it would be the duty of politicians to set guidelines for the use of alarm apps for first responders. “Not doing it borders on failing to provide assistance.” Instead, there is a “patchwork” of voluntary offers in Germany.

According to Müller, for example, more than a third of the 44 urban and rural districts in Baden-Württemberg have joined the Freiburg project, as well as the Allgäu in Bavaria and eastern Saxony. Talks are already underway for further cooperation, said the chairman of the association. “It’s just about to explode.” The background is new international guidelines for resuscitation, which have recommended the use of apps and digital technology since 2021. “I hope that we will have that all over Germany in two or three years.”

The mobile rescuers are represented in several regions of Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony, but also occasionally in Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and in the Neckar-Odenwald district. According to Prof. Lars Maier from the University Hospital Regensburg, they use their own but similar technology. This should also be able to alert first responders across regions in the future, said the member of the scientific advisory board of the German Heart Foundation.

A uniform system for Germany or even worldwide would be desirable, said Böttiger. But in this country alone he knows at least five different approaches. “The systems compete significantly.” Sometimes they use different technology, sometimes the philosophy is already different when recruiting the volunteers: Sometimes special courses are required, sometimes a simple application email is enough without knowing what the people can do.

It is true that it is not yet known which system is best. “So maybe it’s not a bad thing that they’re different,” admitted Böttiger. “But they should at least be compatible.”

Researchers around the physician Maier are scientifically investigating what the use of first aiders brings. According to current statistics, the mobile rescuers were at the scene after an average of 4:33 minutes.

Böttiger referred to the cardiovascular arrest of Danish footballer Christian Eriksen at the 2021 European Championship. “Something like this happens 200 times a day in Germany.” But unlike on the pitch, where Eriksen collapsed, help often comes too late. The rescue service is there on average after nine minutes. But the brain begins to die after three to five minutes.

The GRC boss made it clear that any layperson could start with the help. “Resuscitation is easy, even for adults,” he said. “For a powerful chest compressions, it’s enough to be ten or twelve years old and have two hands.” But according to Böttiger, only in 40 percent of cases in Germany did a layperson start resuscitation before the emergency doctor arrived. “Germany really is a developing country.”

According to the Freiburg doctor Müller, the survival rate of those affected is only 10 to 15 percent. If first responders start chest compressions in less than five minutes, the chance of survival is two to four times higher. You don’t need thousands of emergency control centers to ensure such fast help. “Nowadays everyone has a cell phone with them,” said the emergency doctor.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220519-99-353975/3