Defibrillators in the Community

It is a shocking statistic that Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) kills over 2000 people a week in the UK alone.

At least 12 of these will be young people.

80% of these arrests occur out of hospital.

The known risk factors for SCA parallel those of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), and include age older than 45 years, high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and inactivity. Emotional stress has also been shown to be a trigger for sudden cardiac events.

The role of activity as a trigger for SCA may be minimal, though this continues to be debated. In some cases exercise may precipitate an attack, yet in a study of SCA in Holland, 67% of victims were physically inactive at the time of the event.

A host of undetected cardiac problems exist within any sizeable community and there are many causes of SCA which may go undetected.

The only effective form of treatment for SCA is rapid (within 4-6 minutes) defibrillation using an Automated External Defibrillator or AED as part of the chain of survival.

With average response times of the emergency services being greater than 10 minutes without an AED close at hand the chances of survival are almost zero.

In communities with access to an AED, prompt defibrillation puts survival rates at over 50%. “First Responder” initiatives exist to assist communities in working together to offer potentially lifesaving help for those who suffer from a SCA. For further information regarding existing first responder initiatives you can visit www.respondersuk.org or www.heartrhythmcharity.co.uk.

The Defib Centre can help direct you to set up such an initiative and offer ideas for fundraising in your community to facilitate buying a lifesaving AED.

For further details of our packages for the community, please email: community@thedefibcentre.co.uk or call us on 0800 634 9745.