Published on 28th June 2018
The British Heart Foundation estimates that every year in the UK alone, there are 30,000 cardiac arrests, of which only 1 in 10 people will survive. Unfortunately, due to the swift nature of SCA, there are no symptoms, no prerequisites, it affects everybody from all walks of life. No matter gender, race, age, fitness or health, Sudden Cardiac Arrest can strike anyone. The only proven method of increasing survival chances is early defibrillation & effective CPR. Although defibrillators are becoming a more common sight in public, from leisure centres, town halls, gyms to workplaces and businesses, our fatality percentage is far behind other developed nations.
In Holland, 65% of the time a defibrillator has been used on a patient before the emergency services have arrived. The average UK ambulance time is 11 minutes, with every minute that passes, the chance of survival is reduced by 20%, it doesn’t bare well for always relying on emergency services. In ideal conditions, defibrillation needs to be used on the victim within the first 3 to 5 minutes for maximal survival chances.
Even more staggering, a recent study found that 52% of UK businesses have never considered buying or bought a life-saving defibrillator. Unfortunately, the reality is that purchases of AED’s are often prompted due to previous cardiac arrest events. With over 100 cases of workplace cardiac arrests every week, 93 will be fatal. That’s 93 lives that could be have been saved had a defibrillator been in place. We have legislation for fire extinguishers in our workplace. In 2014, there were 17 fatalities from workplace fires. That’s less than the equivalent of two days of cardiac arrest fatalities.
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