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Call for help

Sanka Price

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On average, ambulances are being summoned to attend to three people with suspected heart-related problems each day.

A high number of these cases involve people who do not fit the profile for such complications. That is, they are between 35 and 45, some as young as 29, and they are not necessarily overweight or obese. Some of them would have collapsed.

This trend significantly increases the last official statistics on calls received by the Barbados Ambulance Service for chest pains related to acute coronary syndrome, which could be angina, heart attacks or some other heart-related complaint. In 2009, the service responded to 520 cases, and the following year, 550.

The situation has become so worrying that the Barbados Association of Emergency Medical Technicians,  comprising paramedics, EMTs and emergency medical dispatchers, is sending an SOS to save Barbadian lives by calling for all ambulances to be equipped with cardiac monitors and automatic external defibrillators (AEDs).

They would also like to have AEDs in stores and public places, and more people trained to use them when people collapse.

Please read the full story in today’s SUNDAY SUN, or in the eNATION edition.