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Six seconds that could save a life
2:00pm Tuesday 31st December 2013 in News
AS HE celebrates the New Year with his family, one Southampton man knows only too well how lucky he is to be alive.
Had it not been for a volunteer first aider who was able to spot the early signs of his heart attack, Kevin Blann would not have lived to see 2014.
So the 50-year-old is urging people to make a lifesaving New Year’s resolution to learn the life-threatening signs and prevent the unnecessary loss of a loved one next year.
He has joined forces with St John Ambulance which has launched a six-second film showing people how to recognise the signs of a heart attack and tips on what to do.
It could be the most important six seconds of your life or somebody else’s life.
The married sports fanatic, from Harefield, owes his life to St John Ambulance first aider, Martyn Charity, who spotted that Kevin was suffering symptoms of a heart attack.
After completing a gruelling duathlon in February, Kevin felt a burning sensation, like severe heartburn, in his chest.
Having been a keen cyclist since his teens, Kevin could not believe he might be in danger but Martyn insisted he remain still and an ambulance be called.
Kevin, who works for Tesco distribution centre in Nursling, said: “I really wanted to drive home with my father but Martyn had been called to check me over and plainly wasn’t happy with that.
“He said I looked really pale and that he wouldn’t be doing his job properly if he didn’t make sure I was checked out.
“The ambulance arrived and took me to hospital. On the way, they did three ECGs on my heart and by the third time, it was lights and sirens all the way to hospital.”
Kevin underwent emergency surgery to have a stent fitted and remained in hospital for nearly five days.
“I owe my life to Martyn”, added Kevin, “if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here today.”
In the UK, 92,000 people suffer heart attacks each year with a third of them dying as a result.
The symptoms shown on the film and known as the ‘Four Ps’ are pain in the chest, a rapid or weak pulse, pale skin and perspiration.
If these signs are spotted swiftly and simple first aid given, a heart attack may not lead to a potentially fatal cardiac arrest when the person stops breathing and requires resuscitation.
Mark Farmer, from St John Ambulance in the South East, said: “Six seconds is all it takes to learn how to recognise a heart attack. It could be the most important six seconds of your life and someone else’s.
“We want to give people the chance to make an achievable and potentially lifesaving New Year resolution to help reduce deaths by watching and sharing our quick steps on how to spot a heart attack.”
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