Sign Up To Improve Survival

Staff are being urged to sign up for resuscitation training in a bid to improve survival from cardiac arrest. Last year attendance at various adult and paediatric courses was only 71% leaving 525 training places unfilled.  Now a major campaign is under way, not only to attract more people to undertake training but also to improve the so-called ‘chain of prevention’ which seeks to reduce the likelihood of avoidable cardiac arrests through staff education to observe patients, recognise deterioration and respond effectively.

David Williams, Lead Resuscitation Officer, explained: “We know that the best way to improve survival is to prevent avoidable deterioration whilst also recognising that CPR is not always appropriate for some patients.”

“If avoidable cardiac arrests are prevented, those that do occur are likely to be sudden and unanticipated. It is these emergencies that are most likely to involve a shockable heart rhythm and patients benefit from staff performing CPR and using an automated external defibrillator before the Resuscitation Team arrives to provide Advanced Life Support.”

Over the past three years Forth Valley Royal Hospital has seen a rise in the number of adult cardiac arrests to 1.93 per 1,000 in-patient admissions. However survival to discharge has improved, from 15.9% in 2016 to 23.4% in 2018. The average national figure is around 21%.

Mr Williams added:  “Resuscitation training now focuses on swift recognition of cardiac arrest, providing high-quality CPR and prompt defibrillation, skills which any member of staff can provide in an emergency. These skills could also be transferred out to our local communities. I would recommend that staff update their training annually.”

The Resuscitation Service has invested in training mannequins, including paediatric models that provide real-time feedback on the quality of compressions and ventilations. The service has two dedicated training rooms on Level 2 at Forth Valley Royal Hospital. Courses are advertised via the Resuscitation Service page on Staffnet and you can sign up by using your eESS Learning Log-in.

Louise, the new Administrator, is also able to help with bookings or enquiries and can be contacted between 8.30 and 12.00 noon Monday to Friday on 01324 567417 or email:

The Service is also updating and standardising the contents of all crash trolleys within NHS Forth Valley, to reflect current quality standards and reduce variability and waste. Further updates will be provided as these improvements are rolled out.