Defibrillator Proudly Donated to Local School in Bury, Greater Manchester
Originally Published 4th November 2015 | Last Updated 5th February 2019
The NHS and the Government have stepped up efforts in recent years to ensure more schools have access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs). These potentially life-saving devices have saved millions of lives around the World since being invented by Professor Frank Pantridge. Although there is currently no legal requirement for any companies to have a defibrillator within the workplace, doing so could potentially help to save somebodies life should they suffer from a cardiac arrest whilst at work.
For this reason, back in 2015, Crown Oil bought defibrillators for our own premises, but as part of our efforts to give back to the local community within Bury. Heap Bridge, a local school in Bury were also provided with a defibrillator along with a training session for 3 teachers at the school along with 30 members of Crown Oil staff in the safe use of the devices by St John Ambulance.
What is a defibrillator (AED)?
Of course, there is still likely a great deal many people who have never heard about these devices and what exactly they do. If you were watching the FA Cup Quarter-Final in 2012 or saw the subsequent news coverage about what happened that day on the 17th March 2012 when ex-Bolton Wanderers player Fabrice Muamba collapsed to the ground 43 minutes into the game.
Luckily for Muamba, a consultant cardiologist had been at the game as a spectator who was able to go pitch side and help with treatment using the available defibrillator. Something that not every person requiring treatment will be lucky enough to count on. So for this reason, modern AED’s have been designed to be easily used by untrained or briefly trained persons if required in an emergency. The AEDs contain technology which analyses the heart rhythms of the patient and as a result, it does not require a trained health care provider to determine whether or not their rhythm is shockable or not.
Although AEDs will often delay the delivery of effective CPR to the patient, whilst the AED diagnoses the rhythm of the heart, organisations such as the NHS, British Heart Foundation and St John Ambulance have all championed the installation of these devices within schools and other academic institutions, public places and business premises.
AED machines can be either fully automatic or semi-automatic. A fully automated AED will automatically diagnose the heart rhythm and advises the user to stand back while the shock is automatically given. Some types of AEDs come with advanced features, such as a manual override or an ECG display. A semi-automatic AED will automatically diagnose heart rhythms and determines if a shock is necessary. If a shock is advised, the user must then push a button to administer the shock.
By making these defibrillator units publicly available in as many public locations as possible, AEDs have improved the outcomes for sudden cardiac arrests experienced by people who are not in a position to receive the required treatment of trained professionals in order to give the patient the best chance of survival.
Why are defibrillators important for saving lives?
According to figures provided by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), figures show that publicly available defibrillators are used in less than 3 per cent of out of hospital cardiac arrests. There are over 30,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests each year in the UK, but less than 1 in 10 people survive as a result. In countries where the public are better equipped to recognise and deal with cardiac arrests, survival rates are much higher with three times the number of people surviving a cardiac arrest.
So clearly, with only 3% of cardiac arrests happen within the recommended retrieval distance of a defibrillator according to the Resuscitation Council (UK). As so, better education of the public and more importantly, better access to publicly available AEDs could help to bring the UK into line with other countries. If you have more questions about AEDs, there’s a guide to AEDs on the Resuscitation Council (UK) website if you would like to learn more.
Speaking about the importance of defibrillators, BHF Chief Executive Simon Gillespie said:
“Every minute without CPR or defibrillation reduces a person’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by around 10 per cent. Thousands more lives could be saved if the public were equipped with vital CPR skills, and had access to a defibrillator in the majority of cases.
“Over the last five years we’ve made great progress in introducing CPR training in more schools. We now need to improve access to the tens of thousands of public defibrillators across the UK. These life-saving devices can provide a vital lifeline for cardiac arrest victims until ambulance services arrive. This innovative project will give every ambulance service immediate access to the location of defibrillators in their areas, so they can direct bystanders to their nearest life-saving device in the event of a cardiac arrest.”BHF Chief Executive Simon Gillespie
How to use an automated external defibrillator (AED)
Below are videos from the St John Ambulance and British Heart Foundation explaining more about defibrillators and how to use the devices should you ever be faced with a situation requiring its use to help keep somebody alive…
Find out more about using a defibrillator on the St John Ambulance website.
Learn more about defibrillators on the British Heart Foundation website.
A defibrillator can mean the difference between life and death for many individuals and although we hope these never need to be used, having one around the school will hopefully boost the confidence of everybody who attends.
After the training session sales director Mark Andrews presented the device to the attendees from the school.
Would you like more information about AEDs?
Here are further sources of information to help you learn more about AEDs;
- Gov.uk – Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in schools
- BHF.org.uk – The BHF joins forces with Microsoft and the NHS to save thousands more lives from cardiac arrests
- BHF.org.uk – Learn how to save a life – Defibrillators
- SJA.org.uk – How to use a defibrillator (AED)
- SJA.org.uk – Defibrillator training by St John Ambulance
- HSE.gov.uk – Awareness training in automated external defibrillators
- ReSus.org.uk – Defibrillator information
- ReSus.org.uk – A guide to AEDs (downloadable PDF)