Defibrillators in phone boxes could save Londoners’ lives

Posted Posted by in News   shareShare2016
Jul
20

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– Just 73 of 10,000 cardiac arrest victims were treated with public access defibrillators in 2014/15, report shows.

London’s phone boxes should house life-saving defibrillators to dramatically increase cardiac arrest survival rates on the capital’s streets, a new report backed by heart charities suggests.

Data from the London Ambulance Service showed 10,211 people suffered a cardiac arrest in London in 2014/15.

Statistics show defibrillators give a 76 per cent chance of restoring a patient’s heartbeat and double their chances of survival from 27 to 58 per cent.

In compiling his report, ‘Never Miss a Beat – Improving London’s Response to Cardiac Arrests’, Shaun Bailey AM found that of the 10,211 people who suffered a cardiac arrest last year, just 73 were treated with a public access defibrillator.

He is now calling on the Mayor to improve London’s response to cardiac arrests by promoting the ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ scheme, created by the Community HeartBeat Trust and British Telecom (BT).

The scheme enables communities to purchase their local phone box for £1 and install a defibrillator and has already been taken up in some areas of the UK.

The defibrillators are stored in tamper-proof boxes and unlocked with a PIN code given over the phone by a 999 operator. The intelligent machines cannot be misused as they only deliver a shock if they cannot detect a heart rate in the patient.

Conservative London Assembly member Shaun Bailey said:

“There is no question we should be making these life-saving devices as widely available as possible.

“The statistics show how vital education among the general public is to ensure victims can get help as quickly as possible.

“The Adopt a Kiosk scheme is a fantastic way of getting more defibrillators into highly visible locations within our communities, with the added bonus of preserving London’s iconic yet largely redundant red phone boxes.

“This simple idea has the potential to save hundreds, perhaps thousands, of lives across the capital and I will be urging the Mayor to adopt the recommendations in the report.”

Assembly Member Bailey’s report also calls on the Mayor to encourage all London schools to provide CPR and defibrillator training to pupils, as well as lobby the government to make it compulsory for all public sector and GLA buildings to house the devices.

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The cost of installing a defibrillator is approximately £1,000. The report suggests the Mayor could offer match funding to communities who wish to take up the scheme.

Martin Render, chairman of the Community Heartbeat Trust, said:

“We fully support the recommendations in Assembly Member Bailey’s report. It is recognised worldwide that early CPR and defibrillation are the key to improving the survival chances of a patient who has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

“It is so important we get more easily accessible defibrillators into the community and better educate people in CPR techniques. If we can teach more people to recognise what has happened, summon the ambulance service and perform basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation many SCA victims can be saved”

The report: “Never Miss a Beat – Improving London’s Response to Cardiac Arrests” can be accessed at: www.glaconservatives.co.uk/nm/

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