It’s widely known that casualties suffering from a out of hospital cardiac arrest often have a poor chance of survival. Along with good quality CPR, the other main influencer of survival rate is access to a defibrillator. Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) attempt provide members of the public with access to defibrillators in area’s where they are most likely to be used.
A recent study presented in the Journal Heart though suggests that most casualties still aren’t getting the early defibrillation that they need. Looking at a single 12month period in Hampshire, the study found that there had been 1035 cases of out of hospital cardiac arrest. Out of these, only 4% of helpers had access to an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), and less than half of those were able to use that AED before an ambulance arrived.
The study’s authors suggest that
Despite several campaigns to raise public awareness and make PADs more available, many public areas have no recorded AED available [..]
In good news though, last week Asda announced that they would be putting AEDs into every store, depot and office. Working in conjunction with the British Heart Foundation, they hope to have this completed by the end of the year, with the AEDs being available for use by any member of the public.
Well done to Asda for being the first of the big stores to have CPR trained staff and public access defibrillators in every store. Most other supermarkets do not have a country wide policy / campaign like this, but hopefully they will follow.
You can find the paper Public access defibrillation remains out of reach for most victims of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest from the Journal Heart at http://heart.bmj.com/content/early/2014/01/22/heartjnl-2013-305030.abstract.
The full Asda story We’re putting life-saving defibrillators into every Asda can be found at http://your.asda.com/news-and-blogs/public-access-defibrillators-at-asda