Look after your heart and learn CPR

05 February 2013

A former heart patient at West Middlesex University Hospital is praising the CPR and NHS care which saved his life.

A former heart patient at Wes tMiddlesex University Hospital is praising the CPR and NHS care which saved his life.

Brian Kent, 75, from Teddington, is sharing his experience to promote awareness of heart health and resuscitation procedures as part of National Heart Month (February).

Brian had a cardiac arrest early one morning in September 2010 and his wife Pam was able to perform CPR until an ambulance arrived.

Paramedics used a defibrillator to get his heart beating again and he was brought to West Middlesex where medical teams stabilised his condition. He regained consciousness three days later and recuperated in the hospital’s Cardiac Care Unit.

He had surgery at Hammersmith Hospital to strengthen his heart arteries. An ICD was fitted at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington and monitored byHammersmithHospital, with outpatient care provided byWest Middlesexincluding dietary advice and an exercise programme.

Brian, who was born at West Middlesex and grew up in Isleworth, said: “I’m still attending an exercise group at Isleworth Leisure Centre, which is like an informal support group, and I am enjoying a full life.

“I didn’t have any symptoms before my arrest and it came out of the blue so I can’t stress enough how glad I am that my wife could perform CPR on me until the paramedics got there.

“As I recovered in the hospital I was really struck by how all the NHS services worked together to bring me back and enable me to carry on living a full life. When I was a young boy there was no NHS and I feel it’s very important that we all support it.

“Take care of your heart with a healthy diet and exercise, learn how to check your pulse so you can find out if you have an irregular beat, and learn CPR because you never know when it could save someone’s life.”

If you or someone you know is having a suspected cardiac arrest dial 999 immediately. Signs and symptoms suggesting a person has gone into cardiac arrest include:

  • they appear to not be breathing
  • they are not moving
  • they do not respond to any stimulation, such as being touched or spoken to

Further advice including how to perform CPR: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Heart-attack/Pages/Symptoms.aspx

The British Heart Foundation is promoting how to learn hands-only CPR: www.bhf.org.uk

NHS heart health advice is available at: www.nhs.uk/livewell/healthyhearts