Due to the nature of many villages with unique addresses, this program is seeing much success with improving the poor survival rate statistics.
Many refer to these outlying villages as “death valley” because emergency services are not able to respond in a timely enough way to save the life of a person in sudden cardiac arrest. An expanding network of secure, heated and waterproof green cabinets are positioned in locations where emergency services may struggle to reach a patient within the limited minutes that they have to survive. These boxes will house the lifesaving AED, often the Zoll AED Plus device. The emergency services caller will be instructed to enter a code which opens the box, and then will receive further instruction on how to deploy the AED to deliver the life saving shock. AEDs are very easy to use and with voice prompts, even a young child could follow the directions.
AED Locator and Arrythmia Alliance have set a target to invite any person, community, business, medical practitioner, sports facility, school etc to register their AED on their website (aedlocator.org). Any person wishing to know the whereabouts of an AED can simply enter the post code, and the nearest AED will be displayed on the map. The challenge is to have a national database allowing public access to the whereabouts of the nearest defibrillator wherever it may be in the UK.
More cities and villages are becoming Heartsafe in the UK, and with public education and participation this will change the grim statistic of 250 lives lost daily quoted earlier. An AED at the side of sudden cardiac arrest victim within 5 minutes is the way to improve the survival rates. Both survivors or SCA, or families of those that were not saved are often the catalyst for getting this important information out to the public.
Whether you live in a small outlying village in the UK, or in a major city somewhere in the world, awareness and education is the key to improving sudden cardiac arrest survival rates. An accessible AED is the difference between life and death.