According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Nigeria’s healthcare system ranks among the poorest in the world.
A critical gap in Nigeria’s Healthcare system is the lack of a functional and well-coordinated Emergency Medical Service (EMS), leading to preventable mortality and
Cardiac arrest is a sudden loss of heart function in which there is malfunctioning of the heart electrical activities. The heart stops beating properly hence said to have arrested or ceased in function. This may occur suddenly or preceded by some symptoms. It can occur anytime, anywhere and to anybody. Death becomes inevitable in victims of cardiac arrest if prompt intervention is not taken.
Cardiac arrest may be reversible if there is timely intervention with adequate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) performed and a defibrillator is used. The combination of these actions can restore a normal heart rhythm within a few minutes.
The promptness and time interval in which CPR as well as defibrillation with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is carried out will determine the survival of the patient. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of sudden cardiac arrest incidents happen outside the hospital, and for every minute that passes without adequate and effective CPR and defibrillation, a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) victim’s chance of survival decreases by 7 to 10 percent.
It is also estimated that with effective bystander intervention through Basic Life Support (BLS), Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and correct use of Automated External Defibrillator (AED), survival triples to 31.4 percent.
With the growing number of non-communicable diseases in Nigeria, and the many unrecorded cases of ventricular fibrillation and cardiac arrest, the incidence of Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) and avoidable deaths could be higher.
In 2019, SAVE-a-HEART: Enhancing Public Access Defibrillation (E-PAD) in Nigeria Project kicked off, with the goal to: Improve Quality of Life and enhance Population Health through a fit for purpose Medical Emergency Response.
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