Each 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, Wales’ leading first aid charity, St John Cymru, are urging people to become more aware of lifesaving defibrillators, when one should be used and where to find one if needed as part of their Defibruary 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.
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.
A whole host of public locations now have defibrillators available for public use and despite this, 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 St John Cymru are asking people to get involved this Defibruary in one of three ways; learning how to use a defibrillator, locating their nearest one - and sharing a photo on social media - or by donating to St John Cymru.
“Being equipped with the knowledge to act in an emergency situation really can mean the difference between life and death.Just £1,000 can help provide St John Cymru volunteers with a defibrillator to use when they are called to a cardiac arrest.
The use of defibrillators has been proven to make a significant difference to survival rates when used correctly.
We’re hoping this campaign will see more people in Wales changing their perception of defibrillators and becoming more aware of the potential difference they can make in a cardiac arrest.”
Julia Hobbs, St John Cymru Cheif Executive Officer
To find out more about how you can become more defib-aware this Defibruary go to: www.stjohn.wales/defibruary or share your defibrillator pictures using the hashtag #Defibruary and tagging @WelshAmbPIH on social media.
- * Welsh Ambulance Service
- **Resuscitation Council (UK)