How often do you check your first aid provisions, or know of the first aid provisions in your childs school? Do they simply have a little green box, locked in a cupboard, aside one of a few qualified first aiders? Is it kept in a room that hasn’t been opened since the new guy mistook it for the toilet?
The public is growing more and more aware of the dangers of cardiac arrests and heart failure, with the year anniversary of Fabrice Muamba’s tragic cardiac arrest at White Hart Lane in March, 2012, coupled with the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) push on highlighting the dangers of heart disease, is having a readily available defibrillator in your workplace or childs school become a more and more necessary item? After recently selling numerous defibrillators to schools, we think it is.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a sudden failure of the heart’s ability to pump blood around the body and up to the brain. Most of the time, It is caused by life-threatening arrhythmias, which are abnormalities in the heart’s electrical system.
A Defibrillator sends an electronic shock to the heart, which in turn helps to restore a normal heartbeat and get the heart pumping blood back around the body. A defibrillator is essential, in treating a person who has had a SCA. If one goes unnoticed, it can be fatal in as little as two minutes. 250 people die every day in the UK from SCA, this is anywhere from at work, in a learning environment, at home, or out and about.
As the cost of Defibrillators drop, they are becoming much more commonplace items in public places such as schools, health clubs, shopping centres and airports. According to a BBC report, 24 schools in North Lanarkshire will be kitted out with them by March, 2014, making it the first local authority in Scotland to install the life-saving defibrillators in all of its high schools.
A sudden cardiac arrest can happen anywhere… anytime. Fat, thin, tall, small, out and about or indoors; nobody is safe. Portable Defibrillators are cropping up left, right and centre, as people clock on to the easy to use, portable, life-saving pieces of kit.
Claiming to know nothing about SCA or First aid is no longer a hindrance in being the hero of the day. Some modern Defibrillators come with voice commands. These are designed to talk through the average, un-medically trained, person how to successfully and efficiently deal with someone who has suffered a SCA. Unlike satellite navigation, which profoundly tells you to go the wrong way, make U-turns and slow down when you’re already going too slow – these Defibrillators talk you through every step of the process with the aim of providing maximum usability to both trained medics and civilians. Anybody can perform emergency resuscitation. Anybody can save a life.
As people begin to realise the very stern truth behind heart problems, with help from the British Heart Foundation, teamed up with the cheap, affordable, factors of modern day compact Defibrillators – they are growing in popularity. Schools, workplaces, public buildings and homeowners are all warming to the idea of having their own Defibrillator system; whether that be for their own personal safety, or to make sure their residence/workplace is safe and equipped in the event of an emergency SCA for others.
We asked Anne Keatley-Clarke, who is the Chief Executive of the Children’s Heart Federation, her views on SCA and defibrillators:
“Many of us are aware of the risk of heart attacks in older people, but we need also to be aware that young people can suffer sudden cardiac arrest too. Medical experts say many children could be saved if a defibrillator is used within minutes of collapse. CHF urge every school to ensure they have a defibrillator available to restart the heart if a pupil or teacher suffers sudden cardiac arrest.”