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Cardiac defibrillators: awareness campaign conducted by student nurses in Monaco

31/07/2008 -

A success story for student nurses in Monaco. On Wednesday 29th July, third-year students organised a day next to the Larvotto beach to inform and train people in the use of semi-automatic defibrillators (SAD). More than 400 people took advantage of the initiative launched in partnership with Dr Philippe Ricard, deputy head of the cardiology unit at the Princess Grace Hospital.

Over thirty easily identifiable red defibrillator units are available in streets and public areas in the Principality of Monaco. “But you have to know how to use them”, points out Rémi Tornatore, director of first aid and training at the Monegasque Red Cross, whose voluntary workers came to lend a helping hand to the students of the IFSI (Institut de Formation en soins Infirmiers). Building on the success of last year’s day event on the dangers of sun exposure, this year the future health professionals chose to inform and educate, free of charge, the general public about an equally crucial issue: what should you do in the event of a heart attack?

Over 200 people received training on what to do in the event of a heart attack
© DR

Many individuals were keen to find out what to do to save a life despite the temperature of over 30° C. Beneath four huge red and white parasols, families returning from the beach, tourists happening to pass by as well as those having heard of this training opportunity... a wide variety of individuals stopped to take part in the demonstration lasting 20 or so minutes. French, Italians and Monegasques… the public were inquisitive and sometimes very young. In the course of this summer day, of the 200 individuals having completed the cardiac defibrillator training, there were about thirty children or teenagers. “The aim is to inform the maximum number of people and especially the young”, says Annie Tomatis, Director of the I.F.S.I. In addition to the 200 people trained by the students, the organisers also counted close to 200 others who came to ask questions.

During the awareness day, student nurses were assisted
by volunteers from the Monegasque Red Cross
© DR

Crouched beside the model, Christelle, a 22-year old student nurse, poured out advice to Monique, a 59-year old tourist who had stopped by chance to find out what to do if faced with a heart attack. “By spending just a few minutes today learning how to deal with this type of situation, you can save a life", said Christelle, a motivated student nurse who is aiming for a career in the emergency sector. A token diploma was given to all those who completed the training. A valuable introductory course for which a refresher at least once a year is highly recommended.

“In the event of a heart attack, you need to take action within 4 to 5 minutes if you want to save the individual”, says Dr Philippe Ricard, deputy head of the cardiology unit at the Princess Grace Hospital and president of the Monegasque Association to combat sudden death. In France, close to 50 000 people die of a heart attack every year and the survival rate of attacks is approximately 2%. The example to follow lies across the Atlantic; in the United States where semi-automatic defibrillators and training are much more widespread, the survival rate is between 30 and 50%.

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Last updated: September 17, 2008 (10:36) Copyright © 2018 Service Informatique du Ministère d'Etat www.gouv.mc