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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Paramedic's praise for new life-saving heart centre in Carlisle

A paramedic on Cumbria’s air ambulance has praised the new heart centre in Carlisle after medics saved the life of a man who suffered a heart attack.

Andy Mawson photo
Andy Mawson

Andy Mawson, who flies on the Great North Air Ambulance Service’s Pride of Cumbria aircraft, said the Carlisle facility had become a vital lifeline for residents in Cumbria.

Mr Mawson was on board the charity-funded helicopter on Monday when a 56-year-old from Windermere was airlifted while having a heart attack.

The man had attended a local health centre complaining of chest pains. Medics at the centre performed tests which established he was having a heart attack and the air ambulance was called.

The aircraft and its paramedic and doctor team arrived on scene 13 minutes later from their base at Langwathby, near Penrith. A road ambulance crew from North West Ambulance Service was also called out.

The man was flown to the Cumberland Infirmary’s Heart Centre which now performs a rapid treatment to open the blocked artery that is causing the heart attack. He arrived in a stable condition and was last night recovering from the ordeal.

Mr Mawson said that instead of having to fly patients for treatment in Newcastle, the charity now frequently uses the local centre, saving money and, crucially, time.

“Time is a critical factor in heart attacks, as the longer an area of heart goes without blood, the more tissue dies,” he added.

“A combination of the air ambulance and this specialist treatment centre means that victims of heart attacks are receiving life-saving treatment in a much shorter space of time.”

The Heart Centre opened part time in November with the aim of helping more than 700 patients each year in north Cumbria. It went full time, 24/7 this month.

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