Heart attack warning: Device that could save a person’s life – what is it?

Over 30,000 people per year suffer a sudden cardiac arrest out of hospital in the UK. For every minute that passes without a certain equipment, a person’s chances of survival is reduce by 10 per cent. The British Heart Foundation said: “After a cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces someone’s chance of survival by 10 per cent.” A defibrillator is an apparatus used to control heart fibrillation by application of an electric current to the chest wall or heart.

“Defibrillators are very easy to use. Although they don’t look the same, they all function in broadly the same way.

You don’t need training to use one. The machine gives clear spoke instructions.

All you have to do is follow them and it won’t shock someone unless they need it.”

Research by CE Safety has looked at different cities across the UK and how many defibrillators are publicly available.

Although London has the highest number of defibrillators with 5,304, when looking at the numbers per 100,000 people, London does not top the table.

The city of Swansea has the most defibrillators per 100,000 followed by Cardiff and Newport

In terms of the lowest numbers of defibrillators, Bradford was the worst, with Nottingham next and Southampton following closely behind.

Northern Ireland and Scotland also have high numbers of defibrillators in their capitals.

Belfast has an impressive 274, whilst Edinburgh offers 164. However the number of public defibrillators varies greatly from city to city around the UK, with some areas having much fewer than others.

Gary Ellis, Health and Safety trainer at CE Safety said: “If someone is in cardiac arrest, you must call 999 immediately.

The call operator will be able to tell you where your nearest defibrillator is, but if you know this already, you may be able to gain the vital seconds that could save someone’s life.”

Knowing that somewhere has a defibrillator, even if you have to ask for it, it can help you gain those precious seconds in an emergency

Gary Ellis, Health and Safety trainer at CE Safety

There are thousands of other defibrillators across the whole of the NHS, including in ambulances and response cars, and other emergency services such as police cars and fire engines which also hold the devices in their vehicles.

“There are many other defibrillator locations that may not be classed as being ‘public access’ because they may be kept in a locked staff area, for example, a building may have restricted opening hours.

“But simply knowing that somewhere has a defibrillator, even if you have to ask for it, it can help you gain those precious seconds in an emergency,” added Ellis.

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