A charity has teamed up with a tech giant as it bids to save thousands of more lives from cardiac arrest.  This initiative is in response to figures that show public access defibrillators are used in less than 3% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, significantly reducing the survival chances of tens of thousands of people every year.

One of the biggest barriers to their use is that the location of these devices is often unknown to bystanders and ambulance services, despite tens of thousands of defibrillators being placed prominently in workplaces, train stations, leisure centres and public places across the country.

The BHF says this is leading to a needless loss of lives, as 999 call handlers are unable to direct bystanders to their nearest defibrillator when someone suffers a cardiac arrest.

The Scottish Ambulance Service deals with over 3,500 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year in Scotland, but only around one in 12 people survive. In countries where the public are better equipped to recognise and deal with cardiac arrests, survival rates are up to three times higher.

Combining their expertise in technology and healthcare, the parties will now work together over the next 12 months to develop a comprehensive network of defibrillators across the UK that can be used by ambulance services. The pioneering project is expected to help save lives every day right across the country.

When the network is launched, defibrillator owners, or guardians, will be invited to register their defibrillator online. The system will encompass detailed locations of defibrillators across the UK, which will allow ambulance services to direct bystanders of a cardiac arrest to the nearest one. It will also act as a network so that defibrillator guardians can support each other in the maintenance of these lifesaving devices.

The network will be piloted by the Scottish Ambulance Service and West Midlands Ambulance Service, before being rolled out across the UK.

source thirdforcenews sept'18