UK, an epidemic of cardiac arrests in the United Kingdom

Reports indicate over 20,000 calls for cardiac arrests above the national average: back in May 2020 we reported that cases of cardiac arrest in Lombardy had increased by 58% due to the Coronavirus

It is estimated that since the advent of the Coronavirus, deaths from cardiac arrest in Italy have risen from an average of 60,000/year to over 100,000/year.


A new UK study confirms the incidence of increased deaths from cardiac arrests in conjunction with the Coronavirus pandemic of around +30% more than the UK average

A weekly report from the ten main UK ambulance associations, shows the number of calls for cardiac or respiratory arrests.

The two are grouped together as it is not always clear whether a cardiac arrest was followed by a respiratory arrest.

The data show 2 anomalies:

  • Relevant increase in calls for cardiac arrest since Spring 2021
  • Significant increase in the number of above-average cardiac arrest calls.

Before 2021, the peak of daily cardiac arrest calls was about 400/day, quickly rising during Winter 2021 to 500/day.

The number of cardio-circulatory arrest calls was +30% over the planned levels with 27,800 extra calls.

This equates to more than 500 additional cardio-circulatory arrest calls per day.

Effective statistics and corrective actions are only possible with proper categorisation of the 112 call and the actual situation recorded.

The cornerstones for reversing the trend in deaths caused by cardiac arrests are always the same:

  • Information: culture of cardioprotection, recognising cardiac arrest, knowing how to intervene, not confusing it with other pathologies.
  • Defibrillator: widespread presence of defibrillators throughout the country: transport, schools, parks, public buildings, businesses, shops, homes.
  • First Aid training: recognising a cardiac arrest in time and intervening promptly with BLSD manoeuvres and early use of the AED.

References: arrests/

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