Did you know that every year in the UK there are likely to be approximately 60,000 SUDDEN CARDIAC ARRESTS?
A PERSON’S CHANCE OF SURVIVAL FALLS BY AROUND 7 – 10% WITH EVERY MINUTE THAT DEFIBRILLATION IS DELAYED.
It is very rare for the Ambulance service to arrive quick enough to provide effective defibrillation, Therefore, the best way of ensuring this, is for someone nearby to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to deliver the shock that can often save a life. AEDs are easy to use even without training. The machines guide you through the process by verbal and visual prompts. They are safe and will not allow a shock to be given unless the heart requires it.
AEDs can be found in many places including superstores, leisure centres public buildings. Access to the machines in cabinets can be obtained by ringing the emergency services. It is a good idea to find out where your closest AED is, look around for the symbol or contact your local ambulance service who should have a list of public access defibs. All that is required to use an AED is to recognise that someone who has collapsed may be having a cardiac arrest. AED`s can both monitor the heart’s electrical rhythm and deliver an essential shock to reset the heart’s natural rhythm. You cannot shock someone if it isn’t required.
The chain of survival starts by summoning the emergency services as soon as possible. The second stage is providing basic CPR to keep the victim alive until the third stage (defibrillation) can be performed. The ability to perform CPR is a vital skill that increases survival, and can buy time until the AED can be used, but CPR alone is unlikely to save a life.
These can be life saving devices, know where your local AED is and do not be afraid to use it. Remember… In a cardiac arrest anything is better than nothing at all!!!