Training thousands of people in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and increased numbers of semi automatic defibrillators and similar devices have been credited with improving the out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rate in the Scottish Borders.
Before March 2015, the figure was at four per cent for the region, below the Scottish average of between seven and ten per cent, the BBC reports. Now, it has climbed to 29 per cent, while the national figure has also climbed to 16 per cent.
All sorts of initiatives have been taking place to help drive the survival rate upwards, such as CPR training kits from the British Heart Foundation donated to all Scottish Fire and Rescue Service stations, and 50 defibrillators given to Scottish HART by NHS Borders to use across the region. In addition, CPR training has been carried out at primary and secondary schools, sports clubs, community groups and more.
National community resilience manager with the Scottish Ambulance Service Murray McEwan noted that increasing the number of public access defibrillators has also boosted the chances of survival for people having an out-of-hospital heart attack.
He was quoted as saying by the news source: “By registering a public access defibrillator, the Scottish Ambulance Service will look to provide life-saving instructions as well as advise members of the community on how to use the nearest available defibrillator.”
If you’re thinking about investing in one of these devices, it might make sense to buy more than one as you can often reduce the retail price this way. Since they can be expensive, looking out for this kind of discount is certainly advisable. It’s also worth doing a bit of research into the different makes and models, as this can be confusing. If you’d like any help, advice or information relating to such devices, get in touch with us here at Martek Lifecare.
You’ll also need to think about insurance for your defibrillator – and make sure that you cover it for theft as, sadly, these life-saving devices are often targeted by vandals and thieves. Prior to installation, think about where the best place for your defibrillator is. It might be that you need to carry out a full risk assessment before you install it. Once it’s firmly in place, it’s vital that those who might need to know how to use it, how to access it quickly and where it is kept are provided with all the relevant information.
If in a public place, it would be wise to store it in a protective cabinet. If at all possible, do not keep it in a locked container but if you judge that the risk of theft or vandalism is high, it may be that this is your only option. In the workplace, make sure that all members of staff know that there is a defibrillator on site, where it can be found and what it’s for. They should also know what to do and how to raise the alarm if an accident or sudden illness takes place.