Information Services

Life After Cardiac Arrest

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland in partnership with The University of Edinburgh launch website providing advice and support for people affected by out of hospital cardiac arrests.

Life After Cardiac Arrest Lead Image


Over the last 14 months the Interactive Content team have worked in partnership with Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland (CHSS), the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland to produce a new public-facing resource dedicated to helping people affected by out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).

Advice and support for people affected by OHCA

Life After Cardiac Arrest is a valuable resource that shares the stories of people, from Scotland, who have personal experience of an out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). It includes video and audio interviews with those who have survived an OHCA, members of their families and those who have suffered a close family bereavement due to an OHCA.

National strategy

OHCAs are a significant problem in Scotland. Around 65 people a week will have one. Only about one in twenty of these people will survive. Unfortunately, people who live in deprived areas of Scotland are 43% less likely to survive than their counterparts in other areas of the country. Scotland launched its Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Strategy in 2015, aiming to improve these outcomes and to make Scotland an international leader in the management of OHCA by 2020.

Personal stories

Life After Cardiac Arrest provides people with the opportunity to share their very personal stories, with the aim of reaching others in similar situations. Speaking about an OHCA can incredibly difficult and the impact of the event on the individual, their family and friends can be far-reaching. Life After Cardiac Arrest aims to increase the awareness of OHCA and to help others who have been through the same traumatic event. It provides support, advice and information in a one-stop directory of real stories told by real people.

Collaborative partnership

The project was managed and co-written by Caitrian Guthrie, Cardiac eResources Project Manager. The website design, filming and post-production was created by project lead, Stuart Brett from the University's Interactive Content team, based within LTW.

Over the course of the year there were several author group meetings held at CHSS. The meetings included invaluable input from experienced professionals selected by CHSS. These meetings helped shape the planned content for the website. Monthly steering groups were also held to review each phase of the website's development:

Development team & content authors

  • Stuart Brett, Interactive Content Developer, University of Edinburgh
  • Lynne Atkinson, Support Services Manager, Edinburgh Headway
  • Ann-Marie Blaney, Coronary Heart Disease Lead Nurse, NHS Lanarkshire
  • Sandra Bannister, Volunteer, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland
  • Linda Callan, Coronary Heart Disease Lead Nurse, NHS Lanarkshire
  • Debbie Strang, Specialist Physiotherapist, NHS Lanarkshire


  • Dr Gareth Clegg, Clinical Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Emergency Medicine, University of Edinburgh
  • Gillian Moreton, Director, Rivers Centre, NHS Lothian

Video/audio interviewees (stories)

  • Andrew Boyd
  • Katie Cruickshank
  • Keith Cruickshank
  • Lynne Dalgleish
  • Eilidh Newton
  • Gregor Newton
  • Harry Newton
  • Judy Newton
  • Sandra Ryder
  • Jeremy Southam

Steering group

  • Alan Begg, General Practitioner, NHS Tayside
  • David Bywater, Consultant Paramedic, Scottish Ambulance Service
  • Stewart Lamb Cromar, Interactive Content Manager, University of Edinburgh
  • Lynne Dalgliesh, Services Administration Support Manager, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland
  • Frances Divers, Cardiology Nurse Consultant, NHS Lothian
  • Greg Fearn, Network Manager, Familial Arrythmia Network Scotland
  • Caitrian Guthrie, Cardiac eResources Project Manager, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland
  • Michelle Keenan, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Headway
  • Colville Laird, Director, BASICS
  • Garry MacKay, Station Manager, Training & Employee Development, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service
  • Gregor Newton, OHCA Survivor
  • Judy Newton, Wife of OHCA Survivor
  • Lynn Reid, Head of Education, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland
  • Connie Smith, Directorate Health & Social Care, Scottish Government
  • Sarah Smith, Cardiac Co-ordinator, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland
  • Margaret Somerville, Director of Services, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland
  • Iain Telfer, Chaplain – Spiritual & Pastoral Care, NHS Lothian
  • Stewart Wilson, Chief Executive, CRUSE Bereavement Care Scotland

Filming Life After Cardiac Arrest

The University currently develop video-based content that reaches over two million distance learners from across the globe choosing to learn online and engage with their content. They typically film with a small crew and a considerable amount of equipment. With Life After Cardiac Arrest however, the Interactive Content team employed a different tact and chose to use small-scale, cutting-edge equipment and software. This allowed the team to film in smaller, more comfortable locations, ensuring the people interviewed felt relaxed and not intimidated by lights, cameras, cables and microphones.

Interactive Content developer Stuart Brett filmed all of the interviews on Apple iPhone 7 Plus smartphones attached to Manfrotto Compact tripods and recorded each video via FiLMiC Pro software. Single interviews were recorded with Rode SmartLav+ mics, whereas multiple interviewees were recorded with via a tripod-mounted Rode VideoMic GO microphone. Editing and post production was achieved with Adobe After Effects CC 2017. This method of combining mobile filming with high-end post production provided us with the ability to film practically anywhere and achieve a professional look (all footage was initially shot in 4K). Filming took place up and down the country and in locations that ranged from offices, living rooms and conservatories, to the Clydeside and even within an active accident and emergency cardiac unit. The Interactive Content Team would like to thank everyone involved in the making of Life After Cardiac, and in particular, the people we interviewed and chose to share their very personal experiences for others.

Fully accessible content

Media Hopper Create, the University’s media asset management system, and YouTube are the key platforms for hosting and streaming each video interview. There are 38 videos and six audio tracks contained within this open access resource, all two hours and 18 minutes of this media has been subtitled.

Open educational resources

All the Life After Cardiac Arrest resources are all available as free digital downloads, under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons licence summary (BY-NC-SA)

Copyright © Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland and The University of Edinburgh 2017 CC BY-NC-SA


Life After Cardiac Arrest (open access resource)

Media Hopper Create - channel (downloable videos)

YouTube - playlist

SoundCloud - playlist (downloadble audio)

Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest: A Strategy For Scotland (Published by The Scottish Government, March 2015)