Charity stresses importance of defibrillators

A first aid charity has stressed the importance of defibrillators. St John Ambulance, which teaches people first aid and claimed to have provided learning programmes to around 800,000 people last year alone, has urged organisations around the country to make use of these items.

Indeed, in a bid to encourage businesses to utilise the items of first aid equipment, it cut the cost of the offerings and reduced the price of its training packages. The organisation wants to see more of these items in premises like doctors’ and dentists’ surgeries, shopping centres and leisure facilities.

It noted that defibrillators can save people’s lives when their hearts stop beating. Indeed, it suggested that for each minute that passes without defibrillation, the chances of patients’ survival falls by up to ten per cent.

The charity also cited figures suggesting that 13 per cent of all workplace casualties are cardiac arrest victims.

A spokesman for the first aid charity said: “St John Ambulance believes that no-one should die because of a lack of first aid when they need it. The survival rate increases by more than 50 per cent if [a defibrillator] is used within the first four minutes, so immediate defibrillation could be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.”

He added that the more defibrillators are in use in premises around the UK, the more lives will be saved.

Of course, just like all items of emergency equipment, it is crucial that first aiders are properly trained in their use. It is only when people know what they are doing that they can achieve the best possible results.

According to the NHS, around 111,000 people have a heart attack each year in England alone. Most of these events occur in individuals who have coronary heart disease, which is caused by atherosclerosis. This describes the narrowing and hardening of the arteries as a result of the build-up of clumps of cholesterol.

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