Have you ever found yourself quietly waiting for a train at your local station, when suddenly a person close-by collapses? What do you do? You have to do something – right? Yes. The recommended reaction is that you call 999 and alert the train station staff, because they will probably have trained First Responders, who will be able to identify the cause of the collapse. Quite often, it is a heart attack.
According to the British Heart Foundation (BHF) (*1), there are 7.4M people in the UK, living with heart and circulatory diseases, which means that there is the distinct possibility of such an event. Of course, train station management will try to ensure that they always have a trained First Aider on site, so that their First Aider will be able to manage a cardiac arrest or a heart attack. In many cases, the First Aider may need to use an on-site Automated External Defibrillator (AED), since in the case of a heart attack, such an attack can lead to a sudden cardiac arrest. An AED is a portable, electronic device, which delivers a dose of electric current to a heart that has stopped in order to re-start the cardiac rhythm.
The Risk Assessment Products (*2) website reminds us that less than 1 in 10 people survive a sudden cardiac arrest. At present, there are over 10,000 defibrillators in the UK with the hope that many more will continue to appear in public places, such as, parks, workplaces, high street shops, train stations and sporting events, where many are already located. However, there is a real need for AED’s, since in the UK, each year there are an estimated 100,000 deaths, due to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) (*3).
Of course, we all have frail, elderly relatives, some of whom live alone, and who may not be as mobile as they used to be, so they may have a preference to remain at home.
We might need to ask the question: What would happen, if one of our elderly relatives had a heart attack? If our relative doesn’t live alone, then there is a good chance that help could be summoned quickly. Even so, the minutes that pass after a heart attack are critical, because if the heart attack develops into a cardiac arrest, then urgent action is needed. In fact, Cardiac Science (*4) states that 80% of “outside of the hospital” cardiac arrests take place at home and there is a 70% chance of survival, if defibrillation occurs within 3 minutes of the sudden cardiac arrest. These are sound reasons why more and more people are investing in an AED, which can be located in their homes to be used in the compelling circumstances of a sudden cardiac arrest or a heart attack. Additionally, many people who own an AED are kind enough to alert their neighbours, so that if a neighbour close-by suffers a cardiac arrest, their AED is available to help save a life.
Possessing an AED could be a life-saving tactic, as there are clear instructions with the device. However, it makes more sense to undergo specific training in how to use an AED, since the training will give you the confidence to use the AED effectively. We have a course entitled Basic Life Support and Safe Use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), which is fully-accredited with Highfield. We strongly recommend that you visit our website and review our particular course on defibrillation, so that you can use this amazing life-saving skill, not only for the benefit of your relatives, but to help friends and complete strangers, should the need ever arise. Please click on the Link below and feel free to book a place on our course:-
(*1). BHF Heart and Circulatory Diseased in UK Statistics – July 2020 Factsheet https://www.bhf.org.uk
(*2). How Many Lives Are Saved By Defibrillators in the UK? https://www.risk-asessment-products.co.uk
(*3). Sudden Cardiac Arrest https://www.zoll.com
(*4). Defibrillators at Home https://www.cardiacscience.co.uk