2013 in South Yorkshire alone, with over 600 Defibrillators in the community, there were less than 10 Defibrillators available 24 hours-a-day. We believe it to be similar throughout the UK.
Most people know by now the value of having a Defibrillator close at hand. Frequently, in the event of a heart attack, it is the only device which can reset the heart to enable it to pump in it’s normal rhythm. CPR alone is often not enough.
Modern advancements in Defibrillator design has seen, not only the units reducing in price, but being fully automated so that any capable person with an understanding of English can safely and successfully operate one and save a life. No special training is necessary. This is why there has been a large increase in the number of defibrillators being provided out into communities.
Time is of the essence when a cardiac arrest occurs:
1) For every elapsing minute without Defibrillation, the patient has a 7-10% reducing chance of recovery.
2) The average response time for a paramedic to arrive is 8 minutes.
3) Already, the victim of a cardiac arrest has a 56 – 80% reduced chance of survival.
An on-site, accessible Defibrillator can cut vital minutes off this process. And if we save just one life – it could be someone near and dear to you. Or it could even be you.
At START-A-HEART24:7 we believe this is only part of the story. It is quite common for a Defibrillator to only be accessible by the public for 40 out of 168 hours available in a week.
Many Defibrillators are being stored inside buildings which are locked either at weekends or after normal working hours. This renders the investment placed into Defibrillators less effective than it otherwise could be. Many installations are not open to the public at all. Units in schools and colleges for example are not publicly accessible.
The provision of a 24:7 temperature controlled, secure access safe to house the Defibrillator improves access to this vital piece of life saving equipment in an emergency.
It is acknowledged that the first response to a cardiac arrest is to dial 999 to get professional assistance on their way. At this time the caller will be told by the operator if an accessible Defibrillator is within 250 meters of your location. A code is given to unlock the safe to access the Defibrillator.
What we do:
START-A-HEART24:7 raises funds to help supply the access safes to store the Defibrillator where there is no other means to ensure 24 hour a day, 7 days a week access.
Getting Defibrillator access into the heart of our communities is our goal. We work with communities to help fund access safes with up to matching grants towards the cost of purchase.