Resuscitation Council (UK)

Honorary Member

Prof Frank Pantridge

Frank Pantridge

In 1974, responsibility for the provision of ambulances became the responsibility of the NHS. Their role was the conveyance of sick or injured patients to hospital where treatment could be initiated. Frank Pantridge at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast had other ideas. He was aware that for coronary heart attacks and many other life-threatening events, mortality was highest in the first 12 hours. Treatment may therefore be needed in patients’ own homes or during transit, a role for which ambulance crews were not trained. Therefore, a mobile resuscitation team should be with the vehicles together with the equipment that may be needed for trauma or medical emergencies, including defibrillators of a manageable size. The innovation of Pantridge, working with John Geddes, eventually overcame early scepticism and the concept of resuscitation ambulances was accepted. Mobile care had been born. It proved a stimulus to the later development of paramedics.