A startrescue.co.uk story...

A specially equipped Skoda ambulance car is helping to improve heart attack survival rates in London.

The car is fitted with equipment that cools patients down following a cardiac arrest – in a process that may help reduce the chances of brain damage, or indeed a fatality.

Heart attack victims should receive treatment as quickly as possible. Just 9 per cent of such patients are alive when they reach hospital.

Three minutes without blood to the brain can cause permanent damage. But cooling the body down may help slow the brain's metabolic rate, reducing damage to the brain.

Once the Cool Car has arrived at the scene, paramedics work to revive the patient, and a treatment known as 'therapeutic hypothermia' is provided.

External cooling packs are applied to the arm pits and the groin, while up to two litres of 4C saline solution is introduced into the patient's veins.

A survival rate of up to 48 per cent is achieved by patients who receive such care and who are taken directly to a specialist heart hospital.

That figure compares to 9 per cent of 60,000 heart attacks that are attended by ambulance crews annually.

The car also carries an automated chest compression device which delivers uninterrupted, optimum CPR.

As a leading breakdown cover provider, here at startrescue.co.uk we understand the value of turning up promptly, but the work of the Cool Car team is on a different level to our own.