Highlights from the Resuscitation Council Symposium 2017

I attended the Resuscitation Council Symposium 2017 on the 17th November in Birmingham.  As always it was a very good update as to what’s new in the world of Resuscitation.  These are my highlights:-

Resuscitation in the community

The day started with a session on resuscitation in the community.  There was a presentation on how only 2.4% of out of hospital cardiac arrests get an AED (Automated External Defibrillator).  This is shockingly low (excuse the pun!).  If we are to increase this number then there’s a few things we need to achieve:-

  • People trained to do CPR
  • Witnesses deliver CPR (Bystander CPR)
  • AED is deployed and used

There was then a series of presentations on how this can be achieved.

Training our children

In Norway 80% of out of hospital cardiac arrests receive Bystander CPR.  They’ve achieved this by training their children and they’ve done this since the 1950s this has given them a nation of lifesavers.

Could this be achieved in the UK?  The Government have resisted putting it on the curriculum but we can make it happen.  Request that your child’s school arrange training; if you’re a trainer arrange with a school to deliver training.  You can also get involved in Restart a Heart Day which will be a global event in 2018.

Do you know CPR? Have you passed on your knowledge?

Increasing Bystander CPR

If we have more people trained then hopefully that will increase the chances of someone receiving CPR.  There is also an app called GoodSam which is aimed at getting those who know CPR to a victim before the ambulance arrives.  If you know CPR you can register with the app as a Responder.

Improving access to AEDs

We then had a presentation about using drones to deliver AEDs where they are needed rather than having them in static locations.  This is quite an exciting prospect but we’re not there yet.  We also need rescuers who know how to use them or are willing to use them.  They are very easy and can be used without prior instruction.

Prior knowledge obviously helps confidence though and one of the places you can learn is Lifesaver 

An important point was made which is we need to think about the rescuer and AED unit ie think about an AED but think about who is using it as well.


We then had a series of presentations about Lifesaver and the new film ‘Harry’.  This is the new film aimed at younger rescuers; the film depicts 4 teenagers.  It can be played on computer, phone, tablet and now in VR.  The Resus Council say the Cardboard VR headsets work well.

I would recommend having a go with this and sharing it with your friends and family.

The only way we will improve survival rates is if we improve the numbers of people getting CPR and AED before the ambulance arrives.

You may also like:-

Hands only CPR

How to use and AED

How to be ready for your ambulance