Sudden cardiac death is not just a problem for the elderly: an electrical accident, an inflammation of the heart muscle, overstraining through sports and much more can cause the most important muscle in the body to suddenly stop or only twitch without pumping blood. According to the bavarian ministry of the interior, at least 100,000 people succumb to sudden cardiac death in germany every year. By way of comparison, there were 3177 traffic fatalities last year, and fire and smoke kill around 500 people a year. Nevertheless, comparatively little is being done to combat sudden cardiac deaths. That's what the bad kissingen center for telemedicine (ZTM) is trying to change.
"With our AED offensive main-rhon we want to give something back to the region", says ZTM managing director sebastian dresbach. AED stands for automated external defibrillator (see info box). In the past three years, the ZTM has installed 31 devices in the region, 21 of which are directly connected to the rescue control center. Project manager thomas schreiner explains how the system works, using the example of the arcade building in the bad kissingen spa garden: a green sign with a heart and lightning bolt indicates the location next to the entrance to the tourist information office.
Automatic emergency call
annett ludeke, deputy editorial director of the saale newspaper, was shown how to use the device together with colleagues: "it's a situation that no one wants: a person is lying unconscious on the ground and is no longer breathing", the 38-year-old paints a picture of the initial situation. What then? "If someone is unconscious and not breathing, it's important that first responders start resuscitation as soon as possible", says schreiner, and: "with every minute, the chances of survival decrease by ten percent."
First responders can get additional help from an AED device: "ideally, it should be within reach within two or three minutes, says schreiner. The handling is very simple: when the device is removed from the arcade building, an employee of the integrated control center (ILS) in schweinfurt is directly connected: annett ludeke is allowed to test it, loosen the seal with a jerk and open the box. After just a few seconds, a member of staff answers the call. The 38-year-old finds this direct contact particularly important: "A real person who supports reanimation," says schreiner."
In the 21 stations with a control center connection, the actual defibrillator is mounted on a telephone unit. The device can also be used to make an emergency call if first responders don't have a cell phone with them. If the defibrillator is located in a nursing facility or a doctor's office, for example, the module is not necessary, which makes the station much more favorable. "However, the devices are then also not around the clock accessible", schreiner points out a disadvantage.
The 31 advised by the ZTM have already been followed by many others. "We were the motor for the region, but now it's a self-runner", emphasizes schreiner. Through reports and lectures, more and more communities, associations or companies have defibrillators installed. The youngest example is sulzthal: "this is a good contribution to the safety of our citizens", the local mayor august weingart (CSU) is pleased about the defi on the village square. It was financed by a crowdfunding campaign of raiffeisenbank hammelburg: in the project "demanding home the bank adds ten euros per donation. The total package costs between 3,000 and 4,000 euros," says schreiner. The actual defi is available from 1200 euros, plus home, control center connection and maintenance. "We are informed every time the building is opened, and then we go out and make everything ready for use again", reports schreiner, who looks after the devices with his colleague jurgen muller.
The app takes you to the next location
all of the ZTM's aeds are also registered in the bavarian red cross (BRK) defi app. A total of 34 locations in the county are already included in it. Annett ludeke downloaded the app onto her smartphone immediately after the information event. A map shows the distance and shortest route to the nearest defibrillator:. "Good to know when things have to happen quickly", says the 38-year-old.
A defibrillator, or defi for short, can terminate cardiac arrhythmias such as ventricular fibrillation through the application of targeted electrical shocks. In the meantime, there are publicly available "automated external defibrillators" (AED).
Locations the "red-cross-defi-and-emergency-call-app" now includes 34 AED locations in the county (see graphic). In bad kissingen, there are twelve defis: raiffeisenbank garitz, vocational school, kisssalis-therme, heiligenfeld-, hermera- and luitpold-clinic, BRK-house (landwehrstrabe), police station, rhon-saale-grunderzentrum, siwo (von-henneberg-strabe), helios-st-elisabeth-hospital and arkaden-building. In hammelburg, there is a defi at the grammar school, at the secondary school, at the public utility company and at the temco company..