Published on 28th April 2022
At Martek Lifecare, we are on a mission to make sure that our Lifeline AEDs are widely available and ready to save lives anywhere, at any time throughout the UK. As a result of collective efforts to raise awareness of SCA, slowly but surely, more communities are seeing defibrillators pop up in public places. Many of these locations are charitably funded organisations or fall under the jurisdiction of the local council and government bodies – but there is also a growing number of private businesses investing in AEDs – and with good reason.
Of course, there are many diverse and essential benefits attached to purchasing a defibrillator. Here, we have condensed those into our top ten to demonstrate how essential this life-saving equipment could be for your business.
A select number of businesses see defibrillators as a non-negotiable investment – gyms, activity centres, care homes and health facilities, to name a few. However, an AED should be essential for all business types – even those that are not public-facing.
Cardiac arrest can occur anytime, anywhere – and can happen to anyone, regardless of age or medical status. Employers have an opportunity with an AED to save the lives not only of their staff but also their customers without relying on first aid training or CPR alone (more on this below). Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) remains a significant cause of mortality in the UK, particularly outside of hospital settings. To save people from succumbing to this fate, it is vital for businesses to have an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) readily available on their premises.
There is a misconception that AEDs are ‘expensive’ – but, over their lifetime, they offer excellent value for money (and, of course, you can’t put a price on saving someone’s life). Although the initial investment is around £1000, a defibrillator remains fully operational without maintenance for around 7-8 years, working out at about £120 per year. The cost-benefit balance becomes much clearer when you think of the immense value a defibrillator brings to your business and the people you come into contact with daily.
If nothing else, having an AED on-site gives you as a business owner complete peace of mind and protection, knowing that if one of your staff or visitors suffers a potentially fatal cardiac arrest, you are fully equipped with the tools to potentially save their life. This feeling of relief is often felt even more strongly in hazardous commercial environments, large public venues or businesses with older staff who occupy more ‘at-risk’ groups, such as factories, stadiums and concert venues, or construction sites (where portable AEDs come into their own).
Sadly ambulance response times continue to vary significantly across the UK – and delays can be expected. A sudden cardiac arrest is a ‘category one’ call – the most serious and pressing.
For each minute that passes without defibrillator use, a person’s chances of survival fall by 10%. Conversely, if a defibrillator is used within the first few minutes of SCA, chances of survival increase by up to 70% – making close access an absolute no-brainer in an increasingly pressured ambulance service. The benefits are even more significant for businesses situated in rural or remote environments.
CPR is a highly effective and crucial component when saving the life of a person suffering SCA – but CPR alone is unfortunately not sufficient. Without the ‘shock’ a defibrillator provides, CPR can only sustain life for so long, as CPR maintains a flow of oxygen to the brain to buy more time before an AED arrives on site. CPR itself isn’t always easy to administer, and for many, the worry of doing it wrong outweighs the benefits of getting it right. Nearly a third of UK adults, when surveyed, said they would feel confident administering CPR.
Even for a person who is confident in their technique and physically fit, CPR can be exhausting physically and emotionally – for the person or people who are doing CPR, timely intervention is essential. Having an AED close by ensures that CPR will not need to be administered continually for too long.
Defibrillators are designed to be incredibly easy to use. Absolutely anybody can use one to save a life – thanks to clear audio (and in some cases, visual) cues to walk you through the process. This makes them a precious addition to your first aid arsenal. AEDs are so simple to use that even a child can operate one – making them a genuinely failsafe addition to any business.
It is not mandatory in the UK to have a defibrillator on-site for businesses (although it could be in the future). Despite this, having an AED on your premises enhances health and safety for your employees and visitors and significantly raises standards in the workplace (encouraging others to do the same).
Of course, this should not be your sole motivation for purchasing an AED, but it is worth mentioning. SCA has been making headlines for some time now – and an increasing number of people expect defibrillators to be available at businesses. Publicising your AED sends a strong message that you care about your community and could also encourage more visitors to your business if you are customer-facing – as they feel safer and supported should they fall ill.
It’s also important to consider the negative publicity associated with your business should you choose not to have an AED on-site. Nobody wants to be associated with a fatality on the premises – especially if it could have been prevented. Today, with much more awareness surrounding SCA and AED use, people may well ask why there was not a defibrillator present.
Having an AED on-site is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of SCA amongst your employees and demonstrate what to do to save a life, should it occur. You may even find that they use these skills to save a life when they are not at work!
By investing in a defibrillator, you signal to your employees how much you care about their safety and health. Company cultures that prioritise employee satisfaction and wellbeing tend to perform best – and if you are paying for a health plan for your staff, why not offer them an extra layer of protection at work, too? Actively showing employees that you care has enhanced productivity and motivation in the workplace. So the benefits for your business could be far-reaching beyond the apparent advantages an AED can bring.
As you can see, the benefits attached to defibrillator use for business are numerous. They cover a wide variety of concerns many companies have regarding health and safety for those who work for them and those who work with them.
For personalised support on defibrillator purchase and selection for your business or to learn more about our specialised packages and rental provision, speak to our friendly team today.