Resuscitation Council (UK)

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Professor Douglas Chamberlain CBE

Douglas Chamberlain
Douglas is a retired Cardiologist who worked in Brighton. He holds Honorary Chairs at the Universities of Cardiff (Resuscitation Medicine) and Brighton and Sussex Medical School (Cardiology). He has been advisor to two major ambulance services in the UK. Douglas was a founder member of the Resuscitation Council (UK), the European Resuscitation Council, and the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (first co-chairman). He has been principal author or co-author of over 250 papers on topics in cardiology and resuscitation medicine.

You’ve had a long and hugely successful career centered in the field of resuscitation, what are your highlights?
If I were to choose three highlights, then they would have to be:

  1. the development of what we now call paramedics (the first in Europe and just a few weeks short - we learned later - of being the firsts in the world. Training started in 1970.
  2. the first use in the world of AEDs (in Brighton) in 1980/81) as written up in the Lancet.
  3. putting AEDs in the hands of non-healthcare professionals (transport police) in 1987.

How did you first become involved with the Resuscitation Council (UK)?
The Resuscitation Council (UK) was originally called CRAC (Community Resuscitation Advisory Committee) that was set up in 1981. David Zideman and Judith Fisher should take pride of place in this initiative but a group of us got together in that year to put the organisation on a formal basis. It changed its name and became a registered charity in 1983.

You continue to be very active in the field, what keeps you passionate about this?
I do have a strong feeling of ‘wanting to give something back’ after an incredibly lucky life. I therefore continue to work with the ambulance service, and I give frequent lectures.

What most interests you about the current developments in the resuscitation field?
The attempts to counter reperfusion damage, and the attempts to find success in remote preconditioning.

What, if any changes would you like to see in the next set of UK Resuscitation Guidelines (2020)?
Acceptance that guidelines should NOT be the same for healthcare professionals as for the general public!

What’s the best piece of advice you give?
That resuscitation in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest should not primarily be a matter for ambulances. It is a matter for the ambulance services that should learn to make the optimal use of community first responders.

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