170,000 Dutch registered as able to help resuscitate heart attack victims

Defibrillator
Defibrillator . Photo: Karl Gruber / Wikimedia Commons

A massive 170 thousand people in the Netherlands are registered with heart foundation Hartstichting as civilian aid workers able to help with a resuscitation. This makes the Netherlands the first country in the world with a  "fine-grained and nationwide network of registered civilian aid workers who can resuscitate someone if called via a call system", the foundation said, RTL Nieuws reports.

According to the foundation, 1 percent of the Dutch population is registered as a civilian aid worker. This is a significant step towards the so-called 6 minute zone, the foundation said. If cardiac arrest strikes someone outside a hospital, and that person is resuscitated within six minutes, he has the best chance of survival. 

With a well-functioning 6 minute zone, around 2,500 lives can be saved per year - around six per day, according to the foundation.

A further step towards improving this zone, is to increase the number of available defibrillators. "We have an estimated 100 thousand defibrillators in the Netherlands, we just don't know where", a spokesperson for the foundation said to RTL Nieuws. "12 thousand of them are registered with a call system and can be used by civilian aid workers. If that becomes 30 thousand, then we have a nationwide network." The foundation calls on defibrillator owners to register their machines. 

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