We’re encouraging people to learn how to use a lifesaving defibrillator this month - it could save the hearts of hundreds of people who experience a cardiac arrest a year.
Around 8,000 people in Wales experience a sudden cardiac arrest but if more people knew what to do in this type of emergency, more lives could be saved.*
Throughout February, we will be urging people to become more aware of defibrillators, when one should be used and where to find one as part of our ‘defib-aware’ campaign.
A lifesaving defibrillator, also known as an automated external defibrillator (AED) is easy to use and can be placed on someone to give a shock to the heart during a cardiac arrest, but not everyone has the confidence to use one.
The device analyses a casualty’s heart rhythm and will give visual or voice instructions to guide you through each step to use one in an emergency.
Only when it is safe to do so will the device advise and administer a shock.
Public locations across Wales have defibrillators available for public use and yet the thought of using one can be daunting; but it doesn’t have to be. When used correctly the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest are up to 70%**.
That’s why we're asking people to get involved this year by booking onto a free, defib-awareness training session in their local area.
Already feel confident to use one? Great! People can still raise awareness by locating their nearest defibrillator and sharing a photo on social media using #Defibruary, or by donating to St John Cymru.
“We mustn’t underestimate the difference a defibrillator can make in a life-threatening situation.“While it’s really positive to see the number of defibrillators in local communities increasing, there’s still so more to be done to help people feel more confident to use one in an emergency.
We hope people will take the time to make the most of our free training sessions which will be held in communities across Wales this month so we can help to break the stigma which still surrounds these devices.
The use of defibrillators has been proven to make a significant difference to survival rates when used correctly. With this, we hope that we will see more people in Wales changing their perception of defibrillators and becoming more aware of the potential difference a defibrillator could make in a cardiac arrest.”
St John Cymru Director of Training, Jon Phillips
Find out how you can become more defib-aware this February: www.stjohn.wales/defibruary or share your defibrillator pictures using the hashtag #Defibruary /#Defibuary and tagging @WelshAmbPIH on social media.
- * Welsh Ambulance Service
- **Resuscitation Council (UK)