A defibrillator is able to restart the heart during a cardiac arrest, and can save lives. When used, the survival rate can increase to up to 74%, but a speedy response is crucial. This is why we've made it our mission to ensure nobody in Wales is ever further than 100m away from a lifesaving defibrillator. This is particularly important in rural areas of Wales where an ambulance may take longer to reach.
Not only do we need more defibrillators in the heart of Welsh communities, we need more people trained in how to use them. It's a common misconception that defibrillators can only be used by trained professionals, but this isn't the case. Of course, we always strongly recommend that everyone undergoes CPR and defibrillator training, but when someone has a cardiac arrest, it's better to attempt CPR and defibrillation than to not do anything at all.
Defibrillators are so important and should be available in all public places and businesses, from leisure centres, workplaces, shopping centre, supermarkets, schools and community areas across Wales.
◦ 270 children die in the UK every year after suffering a Sudden Cardiac Arrest at school
Based on European data, it is estimated that there is approxiately 60,000 Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrests occur every year in the UK.
◦ Approximately 80% of Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrests occur at Home; 20% will occur in public places.
◦ Without immediate treatment, 90-95% of Sudden Cardiac Arrest victims will die
◦ If a defibrillator is used and effective CPR is performed within 3-5 minutes of cardiac arrest, their chance of survival increases from 6% to 74%
◦ Only 22% of people in the UK would be confident in performing CPR on a stranger
◦ 30% of UK adults have said they would be unlikely to perform CPR on someone suffering a cardiac arrest.
What causes a Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
◦ Sudden Cardiac Arrest can strike at any time without any prior warning.
◦ Factors such as the patient's current health condition, gender, age and ethnicity do not factor in when determining the cause of SCA
◦ Most Sudden Cardiac Arrest cases are due to an abnormality of the heart's electrical rhythm called Ventricular Fibrillation (VF)
◦ Physically strenuous jobs will put people at a higher risk of suffering Sudden Cardiac Arrest
◦ Factors such as having a high blood pressure reading, obesity, smoking, high cholesterol levels, congential heart disease (CHD) and diabetes can make a person more susceptible to SCA
◦ Additional things such as electrocution, drowning, trauma, choking or respiratory arrest can potentially lead to Sudden Cardiac Arrest