Charity hopes lesson will be learnt from Muamba

By Steve Hayes 21/03 Updated: 22/03 10:45

Buy photos » Caroline Holmes, Fiona Ahearne and Andy Robson from the Arrithmyia Alliance with a potentially life-saving defibrillator. Picture by Jon Mullis 12.012.052.strat.jm1 (www.buyphotos247.com)

BOSSES at a district heart charity are hoping to raise awareness of heart rhythm disorders and the importance of defibrillators in the wake of footballer Fabrice Muamba's collapse.

Arrhythmia Alliance, based in Shipston, promotes better understanding of heart problems and its 'Restart the Heart' campaign aims to get more defibrillators into communities in case of emergencies.

And in the wake of the Bolton Wanderers and England midfielder's high profile cardiac arrest during an FA cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (March 17) the charity has again stressed the need for defibrillators and the extent to which they increase survival rates in cardiac arrests.

Muamba is currently recovering in hospital after medics battled to save him - keeping him alive with CPR until his heart was eventually restarted with an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) - the kind Arrhythmia Alliance have helped business and communities get.

We reported last week how Stratford College now has an AED on site which trained members of staff can use in an emergency.

A spokesperson for Arrhythmia Alliance said: "Following the sudden cardiac arrest suffered by Fabrice Muamba we hope to shine new light on the condition and improve public awareness of heart rhythm disorders.

"Due to both their instant nature and occurrence without warning, sudden cardiac arrests present a frightening experience for both patients and their families.

"Several underlying conditions may act as a trigger, including undiagnosed heart rhythm disorders."

The charity stressed how important AEDs can be in these cases.

"Fabrice Muamba's heart was restarted following the use of an AED," continued the spokesman.

"CPR alone increases your chance of survival by five per cent, with the use of CPR and AED your chances of survival increase to 50 per cent.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Fabrice and his family during this time."

Visit www.arrhythmiaalliance.org.uk or email fiona@heartrhythmcharity.org.uk to find out how to get an AED for your community or for more information on the charity's work.

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