I feel very happy and honored to be here, among so many scientists and health professionals who serve with zeal and devotion a common goal: “To preserve life through continuous improvement of resuscitation standards and practice”.
I would like to congratulate the Board Members of the Cyprus Resuscitation Council, who presented a very positive work throughout a short period of time from its existence. You have succeeded, through the agreement with the European Resuscitation Council to organize standardised courses in our country that contribute to the expansion of knowledge; and especially the skills of health professionals, on issues related to resuscitation.
Special welcome and thanks are attributed to the professors and doctors from the European Resuscitation Council and other European Bodies.
Last but not least, I congratulate all participants of this Symposium from Cyprus, Greece and other European Countries for being present here today and of course for their efforts to contribute towards improving Resuscitation in their countries in their respective field.
The first scientific symposium of the Cyprus Resuscitation Council which focuses on the new guidelines “What is changing and Why”, offers the opportunity to update your knowledge on the most recent trends on resuscitation.
Trauma is the leading cause of death in people between 1 - 44 years of age. We are aware of the high incidence of deaths (around 120 people yearly) occurring every year due to road traffic accidents in Cyprus.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in most of the developed countries.
Additionally, we all know that in Europe, cardiovascular disease accounts for around 40% of all deaths under the age of 75 years. In Cyprus the leading cause of death is cardiovascular disease and accounts for the 56% of all cases. There is a high incidence of cardiac arrests either out of hospital or in-hospital.
Cardiac arrest is a life-threatening situation. Prevention of it in general, is wisely expressed by doctors who suggest a healthy life style free from smoking, following a healthy diet, exercising etc. In-hospital cardio respiratory arrest is neither a sudden nor unpredictable event. Prevention of cardiac arrest in hospital may be achieved once the patients who are at risk are identified early. This is a role of the Medical Emergency Teams which the Ministry of Health is trying to introduce in the New Nicosia General Hospital.
Successful outcome from a sudden cardiac arrest is linked to the well-aimed “chain of survival” as the European Resuscitation Council accurately describes. The actions of this “chain of survival”: are early recognition of the emergency and activation of the emergency services, early Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, early defibrillation and early advanced life support shall guide every state in its planning towards the establishment of effective and of high quality emergency medical services.
It is very important that the Cyprus Resuscitation Council included in its mission aims and objectives like: cooperation with the European Resuscitation Council, provision of consultations for the state and other professional bodies, promotion and development of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, dissemination of information on scientific research and guidelines on resuscitation.
The Ministry of Health supports all those efforts, which aim in developing and establishing policies for resuscitation. A good example is the effort for the establishment of the Medical Emergency Teams in the New Nicosia General Hospital. By the end of January 2006 another 50 Health Professionals will attend the 2 forthcoming Advanced Life Support Courses. These 50 doctors and nurses, together with those who previously obtain this course, will actually comprise the Medical Emergency Teams. The 2 programs are fully subsidised by the Ministry of Health. Effective pre-hospital management of the Cardiac arrest is also among the Ministry’s aims. At this point of time, the Ministry of Health is preparing a plan for the reorganization of the ambulance service which will also contribute, in the successful outcome of the out of hospital cardiac arrest cases.
Furthermore, the Ministry recognises the need of providing resuscitation knowledge and skills to the public through the European Resuscitation Council Courses. Therefore, we will also thump up any endeavor towards the establishment of Basic Life Support and Automated External Defibrillation Courses.