Published on 19th April 2023
Sudden cardiac arrest can occur without warning to anyone, anytime, anywhere. In the United Kingdom alone, around 30,000 individuals suffer from SCA (sudden cardiac arrest) each year; unfortunately, only one in ten patients survive and make it through this critical time.
Emergency services response times are the worst in almost a decade, with an average wait time of 11 minutes for cardiac arrest cases as of January 2023, according to Daily Mail Online. Consequently, public access defibrillators have become more accessible to the general population to mitigate this issue and reduce loss of life.
To ensure that individuals have the highest chance of survival in cases of cardiac arrest, an extensive network of public access defibrillators is available throughout the UK. With over 10,000 lifesaving devices ready to use at a moment’s notice, these essential medical tools make all the difference in quickly providing emergency care and saving lives.
If you or someone around you requires a defibrillator, there are several ways to locate the nearest device. Here are some tips on how to find a defibrillator near you:
1. Contact emergency services. Call 999, the call handler will be able to immediately direct you to the nearest defibrillator.
2. Contact your local healthcare provider. If you are still determining where the nearest public access defibrillator is located, contact your local healthcare provider or NHS Trust for help.
3. Use online AED locators. Several online AED locators, such as the NHS AED Locator, can help you find the nearest defibrillator in your area.
4. Use a smartphone app. Several apps available for iOS and Android can help you find the nearest public access defibrillator quickly and easily.
5. Check a phone box. As part of the Community Heartbeat Trust’s incredible efforts, AEDs are often placed in phone boxes for public accessibility.
6. Check a local store or restaurant/pub. Many local establishments, such as shops, pubs and restaurants, are equipped with an AED.
In addition to helping save lives on the spot, you can proactively help out your local community by informing them of the nearest public access defibrillator. Here are some tips for helping others find a nearby AED:
1. Spread the word – Let your family and friends know the location of the nearest public access defibrillator.
2. Signage – Display signs in local places, such as parks or town squares, to help inform people of the AED’s location and its importance.
3. Make sure it’s visible – Make sure that any public access defibrillator you see is visible and well-maintained.
4. Get the community involved – Speak to your local government and encourage them to install public access defibrillators in areas where people need them most, such as crowded public places or sports venues.
Taking the time to check if a defibrillator in your local area can help should the worst happen. Thankfully, there are several ways to check if your local area has an automated external defibrillator (AED) available.
The Community Heartbeat Trust has established an interactive AED map on its website highlighting the locations of hundreds of lifesaving AEDs across the UK. This organisation works with communities and businesses to ensure public access to these lifesaving devices by installing them in telephone boxes.
Defib Finder can also be a trusty aid should you require access to an AED.
If you ever need an AED, companies such as Defib Map have designed a convenient app to help locate one quickly and easily. The app directs your current location to the nearest defibrillator through its interactive map.
While apps that locate the nearest defibrillator can be helpful in a crisis, remember that your preferred app might not reflect all available devices. This is because each of these applications relies on its user-generated content. Communities must add nearby defibrillators to keep them up-to-date and accurate. Should you have any questions regarding AED locations or wish to speak with a member of our team, please get in touch with us on 01709 599 222.