In cardiac arrest situations, even experienced paramedics will tell you the most important thing that can be at a scene is a defibrillator. Pairing this with emergency life support techniques can help to increase a victim’s chance of survival from 6% to 74% if delivered within the first 3-4 minutes of collapse.
Slowly but surely, we’re seeing more and more access to life-saving defibrillators available in public locations; outside shops, town halls, leisure centres, this means that quicker treatment can be provided to a casualty and survival chances increase, but still, there are many workplaces, schools, and community environments without this essential piece of equipment.
In the last two years the government, alongside the British Heart Foundation has pledged 2million pounds to fund CPR training and defibrillators into local communities.
2015 saw 700 defibrillators placed across the country due to the first £1 million of government funding from the Department of Health, while helping fund over 14,000 life-saving defibrillators in towns, cities and villages across the UK.
Communities have been urged by the government to apply for funding via opened an online application form. They can apply for one of 3 packages:
- A free public access defibrillator, CPR training kit and a cabinet
- A free public access defibrillator, CPR training kit
- A free cabinet to improve accessibility to a current defibrillator
For a community group to be successful with their application they must prove
- The defibrillator will be accessible to the public, preferably 24/7
- A commitment to training the local community in CPR
- A clear need for the device such as high footfall or a rural location.
Unfortunately, at the current time, if you don’t fulfil the community group criteria, you won’t get funding. Shouldn’t responsible companies that want to provide this life saving equipment for their employees and the wider community be able to access some sort of grant too? Or at least matching funds that they raise themselves?
In Ireland, a 9-year-old boy’s life was luckily saved by access to a defibrillator. He collapsed at school and the nearest defib had to be sourced to give him a fighting chance, luckily a nearby local sports club had a defib located outside and fortunately the boy was saved.
Unlike this boy, many don’t have a chance due to a lack of access to a defibrillator.
Within a wider framework of healthcare budget cuts and emergency services struggling to hit reaction time targets, workplaces, schools, health and fitness clubs/ gyms that are keen to be socially responsible and provide these life-saving pieces of equipment should be encouraged and supported in their endeavours.
Almas Industries provide the unique DOC defibrillator to over 3000 business across Europe. DOC is remotely monitored to ensure it will work in the event of a cardiac arrest and has proactive maintenance meaning you don’t have to check it daily.