Over the last few years I have been delighted to see the number of Public Access Defibrillators increase. They are appearing outside many more shops, libraries and community centres as well as in schools.
Often, but not exclusively, recognised by the bright yellow cabinets they are housed in, they are a welcome sight. How many people though are aware that they are for the use of the general public and that anyone can access them?
The simple answer is “Yes”!
Fabrice Muamba almost died in April and would have done so without an AED close at hand, and his coaches and the consultant cardiaologist who knew how to operate one.
30,000 people a year in the UK have a cardiac arrest out of hospital. Statistically if you have a cardiac arrest out of hospital your chances of surviving are poor; less than 10% people will survive. This appalling statistic hasn’t changed much in many years.
However with prompt intervention with an automated external defibrillator device and good basic CPR, your chances of survival go up to about 74%.
Many employers are often put off purchasing an AED on the basis of cost of the device, and the time that it takes to train staff to use one. However, the machines themselves are very reliable and easy to use.
Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death and you have a responsibility for ensuring safety to your staff, visitors and customers so why not invest in an AED? After all, you invest in fire extinguishers and hope you will never need to use those either!