A PLEA has gone out to the owners of premises with defibrillators to get the potentially life-saving pieces of kit registered on a new national database. At least 10 defibrillators in Uttoxeter were found to be completely unregistered, meaning only a handful of people knew they were available and their location.
The National Defibrillator Network is collecting details of all defibrillators across the UK, to allow ambulance call-handlers to direct people to their nearest machine in an emergency.
The online network – also known as The Circuit (www.thecircuit.uk) – was launched by the British Heart Foundation in partnership with the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, Resuscitation Council UK and St John Ambulance.
West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS), highlighted the importance of defibrillators during a presentation to Uttoxeter Town Council in October.
Director of Nursing Quality and Clinical Commissioning at WMAS, Mark Docherty said: “Effectively, what you need is one defib every 400 metres in every direction.
“In the UK there is a 7% chance of surviving a cardiac arrest outside of hospital.
“In Denmark it is 25% because they have defibs everywhere and people are trained and willing to do CPR.
“We need everybody to be prepared to do it and increase the number of defibs until they are literally on every street corner.
“The British Heart Foundation is launching a brand-new system, the National Defibrillator Network. The more defibs that go into that, the more chance we have of saving people’s lives.”
Now, the town council is urging anyone with responsibility for a defibrillator in Uttoxeter to ensure it is registered on The National Defibrillator Network – also known as The Circuit.
At its monthly meeting on Tuesday 9 November, the town council discussed the issue around ambulance service provision and the knock-on delays caused by hand-over issues in hospitals.
Cllr Nigel Lowe told the meeting: “After ringing round local companies, I found there’s around 10 or 11 that aren’t registered anywhere.
“I’ve spoken to the businesses and they were completely unaware of The Circuit and that they could register their defibrillators.
“It’s an excellent idea to promote this as much as we can.
“There is quite a prolific amount in the town centre, but it’s locating those on the periphery of town.
“Most of the businesses were really helpful, but just didn’t know.”
As well as providing enough defibrillators, encouraging people to use them in an emergency is also key. Currently, only 10% of people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK.
Training isn’t required to use a defib. Once the box is opened, clear instructions are given and the kit will simply not work if defibrillation is not the correct treatment in the circumstances.
Cllr Lowe has recently undertaken defib training. He said: “I was terrified – I was thinking I’d need a degree in computer science! But it was very easy – it just tells you what to do.”
The town council agreed to urge all business, community groups and premises owners with defibrillators to ensure their kit is registered at www.thecircuit.uk and to inform both the town council and the Echo, so that locations can be included in a list on the town council website and in the regular defib location list on page 2 of the Uttoxeter Echo.
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