In order to achieve our goals, we have identified several strategies such as:
- Training a growing number of people in basic resuscitation techniques (BLS) and the use of external defibrillators (AED).
- Providing our multiple partners with an apposite training for semi-automated defibrillators and basic resuscitation maneuvers.
- Creating a regional network of interconnected defibrillators across the territory which is coordinated and managed by the Ticino Soccorso 144 head office.
- Promoting both private and public initiatives which are in line with the core principles and goals of the foundation.
- Assessing the impact of the implemented actions by means of specific and scientific research.
- Creating and managing a network of First Responders who can perform the primary maneuvers as well as precocious defibrillation whilst awaiting the arrival of professional emergency medical technicians.
Our core principles
By the early nineties, sudden cardiac arrest was eventually addressed as an important health condition within the borders of our territory. Around this time, the international scientific community published numerous literature focused on the treatment and prevention of sudden cardiac arrests, thus gathering information and defining the main features of this pathology.
In this context, ambulance services across the Canton of Ticino have collected data by following the guidelines issued by the international literature. As a result of their efforts, in 2003 they had collected and organized enough data at a cantonal level to frame the issue more clearly.
As suggested by the scientific community, which is unequivocal in identifying the primary rules that ought to be respected when treating sudden cardiac arrest, time represents the key feature of the process. In greater detail, cardiac arrest requires a prompt response from those who are nearby the accident site so that it is possible to ensure a sufficient perfusion for both the hearth and brain of the patient. Again, this is shown to be a pivotal step in the therapy chain which begins with the survival of the person. This is because, each successful step is fundamental for the achievement of the next one.
Yet, the striking challenge in treating such illness is represented by the need of a multiple and simultaneous intervention which must be performed in a coordinated and extremely fast manner. In this scenario, the fact of disposing of non-professionals who can perform the initial and more important steps of the chain (i.e. early recognition and call for help, early CPR and early defibrillation) makes the treatment even more delicate. This is only until the arrival of professional emergency medical technicians, who ensure the care of the patient by means of advanced resuscitation and in-hospital treatments.
Still, besides the intervention of amateurish rescuers, both the literature and data have shown that when those first three steps are not managed properly, the chances for a full recovery of the patient by any specialized health institute are almost none due to the initial loss of precious and vital time. Thus, in order to optimize and increase the survival rate of sudden cardiac arrest patients, there needs to be a joint effort between health institutions, private and semiprivate institutions together with the entire population to offer an adequate response to this unexpected pathology. Over the past years, the Canton of Ticino has shown to be a role model in terms of solidarity within its inhabitants. Hence, this has allowed our program to become a successful example which has highly increased the whole Swiss survival rate in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.