The Welsh Ambulance Service has launched a selfie campaign to help save the lives of people in Wales, calling on local residents around the country to take photographs of themselves standing next to defibrillators in their area so they know where they are if they ever have to use one.
According to the BBC, the campaign is going live today (February 1st), with support from the likes of footballer Lee Trundle and rugby ace Shane Williams. Approximately 8,000 people in Wales suffer heart attacks outside of hospital each year, so it seems that campaigns like this are certainly a good idea.
Medical director with the ambulance service Dr Brendan Lloyd was quoted by the news source as saying: “When someone goes into cardiac arrest, early defibrillation is a crucial part of the chain of survival. In fact there are a number of people in Wales who are alive today thanks to the quick-thinking actions of bystanders in using a nearby defibrillator. That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to familiarise themselves with where they can find the closest piece of lifesaving equipment available to them.”
Members of the public are also being called on to share their photos on social media sites, with prizes up for grabs for Twitter posts – prizes that include tickets for Wales’s football World Cup qualifier against Austria and two defibrillators for local schools.
According to British Heart Foundation statistics, there are more than 30,000 cardiac arrests each year in the UK outside of hospital (such as in homes or communities) where resuscitation is attempted by emergency medical services. However, less than one in ten people who do suffer cardiac arrest survive to be discharged from hospital.
Interestingly, survival rates in the UK have fallen behind the rates seen in other developed countries. Norway, for example, has a survival rate of 25 per cent, while in Seattle in the US the survival rate is 20 per cent. In some instances, CPR can double a patient’s chances of surviving an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, which is why it’s so important for anyone who does see someone having a heart attack to have the requisite skills, ability and confidence to offer assistance.
Whether you’re a business or an individual, having AED training would be a great idea. You never know when you’re going to come across someone in need and it would be awful to feel powerless and unable to help. There are DVDs out there you can buy that can help you with first aid training, whether you’re after a one-year certificate or something more in depth.
If you’d like to find out more about the different training courses available, get in touch with us here at Martek Lifecare. We are an approved NHS vendor and work with the likes of the West Midlands, Buckinghamshire and County Durham and Darlington fire services. We can also come out to survey your site to see if any health and safety improvements can be made.