Chances of surviving a cardiac arrest have more than doubled

New research into Dutch resuscitation in 2016 shows that the chance of surviving a cariac arrest has more than doubled in the past decades.

From nine to 23 percent

Whereas the chance of survival was around nine percent in the mid nineties, it is currently around 23 percent.

This is one of the most important findings of a study, entitled "Reanimation in the Netherlands 2106", which was carried out by the Dutch heart foundation Hartstichting. It is the first time that the scope of cardiac arrests, reanimation efforts and survivals have been charted so thoroughly.

Reasons for the improvement

The reasons for the improved survival odds include an increase in registered civilians who are trained in first aid. Immediate action doubles the odds that a cardiac arrest victim will survive. The presence of Automatic External Defibrillators is another factor.

Quality of life afterwards

90 percent of survivors in the Dutch healthcare system leave the hospital in a reasonable-to-good neurological condition, and have a high chance of a good quality of life after recuperation.

Registered civil aid

A person who is trained in CPR and registers to be on call in case of emergency is called a burgerhulpverlener, or civil aid.

Civil aids can receive a message on their phone when a cardiac arrest is called in in their neighbourhood. This can allow them to assist within a short (and critical) amount of time.

In 75 percent of the cases, resuscitation is started before the ambulance arrives. The first six minutes are deemed crucial.

More trained people needed

Every year about 2500 lives could be saved if one percent of the Dutch population, or around 170.000 people, learn CPR and register as a civil aid.

Currently this number is closer to 140.000, and many areas, especially the more densely populated parts of the Netherlands, need more trained people to assist in an emergency.

Sources: Nederlandse HartstichtingNOS

Alexandra van Kampen


Alexandra van Kampen

English and Japanese theatre and culture are my forte. My mother was raised in England, and my grandmother in Japan. I studied Japanese Language and Culture, and Film and Photographic...

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