Why we need more AEDs available to the UK public

18/06/20

Like other developed countries in the West, the UK experiences a high rate of death due to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). We experience about 60,000 incidents of SCA each year according to the British Heart Foundation’s Consensus Paper on Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in England. Even more staggering is the fact that each week, 12 people who are under 35 years of age die from the condition because they have cardiac conditions that are undiagnosed.

The ambulance service in the UK attempts to save the lives of those with SCA. In fact, each year, they try to resuscitate about 25,000 people suffering from the condition. Unfortunately, they are rarely on the scene early enough to provide defibrillation that can save the person's life.

Why public AEDs are crucial

Ventricular Fibrillation (VF) is the cause of most incidents of SCA. Using an automated external defibrillator (AED) to return the heart to its normal rhythm can save the person's life. Because there is a window of just a few minutes when prompt defibrillation is most effective, having an AED in public spaces is essential in boosting the survival rate of SCA.

Easy to Use

An AED does not require any previous training or knowledge in order to be used. Additionally, using one on a patient does not cause that person harm.

Effective

Using an AED stops VF's chaotic rhythm by delivering a high-energy electric shock. This enables the heart's normal and organised electrical rhythm to resume and the muscle's pumping action to stabilise.

Smart Design

The AED is designed to guide the user from the start of using the device to the finish. It does so using both visual and voice prompts to provide a thorough experience. For example, the AED analyses the patient's heart rhythm and delivers a shock only if needed.

Ideal for Children and Adults

The standard pads included with an AED are designed to be used with children over the age of eight and adults. Ideally, special paediatric pads should be used for children between the ages of one and eight, if they are available. However, standard adult pads can be used if paediatric pads are unavailable.

While using an AED is not usually recommended for use on a child who is less than a year old, it should be considered if it is the only defibrillator that is available. It is preferred that the AED be used with paediatric pads, if they are available, on a child of this age.

Life-Saving

The rate of survival from SCA plummets 7-10% every minute that a victim is not treated. Most SCAs  happen outside of hospital. Hence the importance of AEDs being  available because if a bystander is able to administer defibrillation using an AED, the survival rate increases to over 50%

It's clear that the UK needs more AEDs in public spaces. Making them available can help bring the country's survival rates in line with international standards. Aero Healthcare provides state-of-the-art AEDs that can save a life. Contact us for more information.


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