Welcome to Life After Cardiac Arrest.

Life After Cardiac Arrest is a valuable resource that shares the stories of people, from Scotland, who have personal experience of an out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). It includes video and audio interviews with those who have survived an OHCA, members of their families and those who have suffered a close family bereavement due to an OHCA.

OHCAs are a significant problem in Scotland. Around 65 people a week will have one. Only about 1 in 20 of these people will survive. Unfortunately, people who live in deprived areas of Scotland are 43% less likely to survive than their counterparts in other areas of the country. Scotland launched its Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Strategy in 2015, aiming to improve these outcomes and to make Scotland an international leader in the management of OHCA by 2020.

Life After Cardiac Arrest provides people with the opportunity to share their very personal stories, with the aim of reaching others in similar situations. Speaking about an OHCA can be incredibly difficult and the impact of the event on the individual, their family and friends can be far-reaching. Life After Cardiac Arrest aims to increase the awareness of OHCA and to help others who have been through the same traumatic event. It provides support, advice and information in a one-stop directory of real stories told by real people.

Every video page contains a list of related resources, links and a feedback box. Your feedback is very important to us and will help us evaluate and improve this resource. Life After Cardiac Arrest also contains a themes section as an alternative way to quickly find content that’s relevant to you. This list of themes cover a range of topics, for example, ‘memory loss’, ‘fatigue’, ‘medications’ and ‘anger’. If you’re not sure which video to watch first, try our themes section. Sharing our experiences with others is an invaluable means of helping those who may need information or advice but don’t know where to find it. Most importantly, it helps others to know that they’re not alone in their journey following an OHCA.

Dr Gareth Clegg, Clinical Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Emergency Medicine, University of Edinburgh, provides an introduction to the resource. In Scotland, out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) resuscitation attempts are made on approximately 3,000 people each year. It is estimated that around 80% of these occur at home, with 20% taking place in public spaces. Only around 1 in 20 of those on whom resuscitation is attempted will survive to hospital discharge. OHCAs are, for the most part, sudden and unexpected.

A cardiac arrest is where the heart stops pumping blood around the body. There can sometimes be confusion over the difference between a cardiac arrest and a heart attack.  This video and the following one provide a useful explanation of how the two differ.

A heart attack is where one of the arteries supplying blood to the heart becomes blocked. Although a person having a heart attack is at high risk of having a cardiac arrest, the two are not the same. Around half of all sudden cardiac arrests occur in heart attack victims with no previous history of cardiovascular disease.

In this video, Dr Gareth Clegg discusses who is most liable to experience an OHCA.

An OHCA can have a huge effect not only on the lives of those who survive but also on their family and friends.

Gregor’s Story

Gregor speaks about his OHCA and how it has affected his life

Judy’s Story

Judy talks about the effect Gregor's OHCA has had on the family

Eilidh and Harry’s Story

Eilidh and Harry share their perspective on Gregor's OHCA

Jeremy’s Story

Jeremy talks about his OHCA and how it changed his life

Keith and Katie’s Story

Keith and his wife Katie discuss his OHCA and how it has impacted on their lives

Sandra’s Story

A series of audio interviews with Sandra, an OHCA survivor

Andrew’s Story

Andrew speaks about his father who died from an OHCA

Lynne’s Story

Lynne talks about the death of her father from an OHCA

PTSD: An Introduction

A series of videos that explain the causes, symptoms and treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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