Belgians’ are four times less likely to survive a cardiac arrest than their German, Dutch and Scandinavian counterparts, due to a lack of knowledge of how to assist somebody in such a scenario.
On average, out of the 30 Belgians that go into cardiac arrest each day, only two will survive, according to figures released by the Belgian Heart Rhythm Association on Wednesday.
While the survival rate of some European countries is situated somewhere between 20 and, in some cases 40 percent, the survival rate in Belgium barely reached 8 percent.
The association of around a hundred cardiologists attributed this to the fact that Belgians are not sufficiently informed on how to help someone who is going into cardiac arrest.
“People who don’t know how to react avoid doing so,” cardiologist Dr. Ivan Blankoff said. “That’s why only one of three people intervene if somebody else is going into cardiac arrest.”
“With every passing minute, the survival rate drops by 10 percent,” he added.
The cardiologist association released the data as it prepares for the Cardiac Rhythm Week, which will take place from 17 to 21 June, and which has already given cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR training to almost 12,000 citizens.
Belgian francophone regions introduced first-response training session in secondary schools, and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation is this week expected to increase the program’s budget.
Increasing current survival rates to 20 percent could save “some 1,000 more lives in Belgium each year,” the association said.