In a cardiac arrest scenario, knowing where your nearest Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is located is literally a matter of life and death. Over recent years the number of AED made available in public places has dramatically increased. Despite this, they are used in less than 3% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.
One of the potential reasons for this low use is knowing where your nearest AED is located. A quick search of the internet or mobile phone app store will show you an endless list of websites and apps that offer to help you locate an AED. The problem is these all rely on people submitting that information to each and every site.
Today (08/08/18) the NHS, British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Microsoft have announced a partnership with the aim to map all of the UK’s defibrillators. While still rely on owners (or guardians) of AEDs to submit the information, the hope is that this will become a definite list with the data being used by Ambulance Services as well as members of the public.
The project is due to launch in spring 2019, with West Midlands Ambulance Service being part of the trial.
Before the project becomes live we would recommend downloading one of the available AED locating apps to your phone. The one that we recommend is the GoodSAM app. This has many other features useful in a medical emergency too.
You can read more about today announcement on the BHF website.
Of course, you could also undertake training in the administration of CPR and safe use of an AED, or just first aid training in general. Knowing what to do when someone stops breathing greatly increases their chances of survival. With the average survival rate in the UK of less than 1 in 10 everything helps.