When Technology+Community is key to survival

08.03.21 08:03 PM By Lars Lin Villebaek

This is a re-post of an original article by Lars Lin 6th November 2016.

Today, a man I have known for the most of 40 years had a sudden cardiac arrest. 

I incidentally arrived just as he was brought out to the waiting ambulance outside of the sports center, where we both play tennis. In 2001 only 4% survived sudden cardio arrest in Denmark. Today 12% of Danes survive out-of-hospital cardio arrests and this statistic is no better in any other country. The grim (but improving) number is due to the hard fact, that extremely rapid reaction within seconds is required by those around you if death is to be avoided.

One paramedic was 3-4 minutes away and he drove to the sports center immediately after the 1-1-2 (9-1-1) call was received. An ambulance arrived in 6 minutes. This can not happen any faster and the service from the health professionals involved was superb.

However two entirely other factors were the reason why the heart in my fellow tennis player got restarted in little more than a minute.

A young man working in a cafeteria literally behind the wall into the tennis court heard the alarm call being made by another tennis player. He was factor number 1. He represented Community (along with the fellow tennis players) and he responded immediately!

His first action was to run approx 6-7 meters to open a wall-mounted box that contains a "Heart Starter", a high-tech defibrillator, that automatically guides the person performing the defibrillation. Watching this can be the most important instruction you ever watched. He ran to the tennis court with this equipment and saved a person's life.

Our healthcare system services -regardless of how good they are- are not what save lives immediately in such a situation (but they do in many other cases).

The way we have learned to create purpose-driven communities as well as the advancement of new Technologies are very powerful enablers for living our lives the way we like in safe and secure environments, where our well-being is a priority -also when we are not actually paying attention to it.

The goal in Denmark is to reach a survival rate of 85% for sudden cardio arrests and this plan involves two factors. CPR and other emergency response training of more of us in the "Community" -and more Heart Starter units ("Technology") distributed around the country.

Prevention, Emergency Aid, a major part of treatment and the recovery all take place outside of hospitals. The biggest way to impact our health and survival rate positively is to strengthen Community and Technology initiatives and allow ourselves to trial and implement the best of the best new ideas and solutions.

Our clothes or other wearables will be monitoring us in the future -and raise alarms if our body functions suddenly differ from predicted state -but we still rely also on our Community to make the biggest difference when the seconds are counting.

There are many lessons to be learned in Community Building and emerging new Technologies so let's implement these solutions right away and make them work for our benefit. 

Read more about the Trygfonden initiative here.

More than 10 cardio arrests are registered every day in Denmark.

Read the original Linkedin post here