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  • Hazel Hawkes

The Importance of Defibrillators!

Cardiac arrests can happen anywhere and to anyone and, if not treated quickly, they can lead to death. Having a heart attack outside of a hospital significantly decreases the chance of survival. Therefore, it is vital to have the appropriate equipment and people trained in how to use it..

Defibrillators are an essential piece of equipment because they can considerably increase the casualty's hope of surviving. When a person suffers a sudden cardiac arrest their chance of survival decreases by 7-10% for each minute that passes without defibrillation. However, when used within 3 minutes, a defibrillator can enhance a person's survival rate from 6% to 74% if the casualty is in a shockable rhythm.

CPR can prolong life but defibrillation is the only way of restoring a fatal heart rhythm back to normal. Additionally, ambulances and paramedics can take too long to arrive or be too late to help so having an AED and training your workers on how to use it may be the only way to save a life.

It is not just older people or those with pre-existing health problems that may suffer from cardiac arrests, young, healthy people may have them as well. You may remember the incident where Christian Eriksen, the 29 year old Danish footballer suddenly collapsed during Denmark's opening match against Finland in the Euro 2020 Championship (actually held in 2021). It was later revealed that he had shockingly suffered a cardiac arrest even though he was fit and healthy with no underlying health conditions. If the staff at the ground had not been as well equipped and well trained as they were he probably would have died. The medical teams were with him in moments and were able to resuscitate him with the help of a shock from a defibrillator. Whilst heart attacks in sport are a rare occurrence they do happen and the people around should be properly trained to be able to deal with such incidents. This is one of the many examples of why every workplace, no matter the size of the building or the capacity, should either have their own defibrillator or access to a local one. Christian Eriksen now has an ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator) in his chest which will deliver a shock to his heart if it senses an irregular rhythm.

Most people do not work in a football stadium but that doesn't mean that they are not at risk from a situation like Christian Eriksen. Additionally, in some workplaces there are extra dangers that can cause a heart attack for example working with electrics. If someone does suffer a severe electric shock ensure that there is no danger to yourself before administering First Aid - it won't help anyone if you get electrocuted as well.

Think of having a defibrillator like having insurance on your house; "as every housewife knows, the first cheque you write is for the mortgage, but the second is for the insurance" (The Blind Side) - once you have set up your business you need to make sure that you are compliant with health and safety regulations which include first aid equipment. It is something you hope you never need to use but it is better to have it and not need it than not have it and need it.

Because of all of the potential dangers in the workplace we have now purchased a defibrillator and we have notified the local businesses in our area to let them know that we have one and that if they are ever in need of one they can use ours.

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