THE Welsh Ambulance Service Defibuary campaign could help you save a life.
The annual month-long campaign is designed to educate the public about the importance of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation.
According the British Heart Foundation (BHF), only one in ten people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK, and it can happen to anyone, at any age, so knowing how to do CPR and how to use a defibrillator can improve the chance of survival.
There are currently 7,564 public access defibrillators (PADS) registered in Wales on BHF The Circuit, the national defibrillator network providing ambulance services with vital information, including the locations of PADS.
But a quarter of these PADS do not have guardians, indicating that they are not ‘rescue ready’.
Guardians are people within the community that look after defibrillators and replace expired PADS and batteries.
Fiona Maclean, the Trust’s Patient Experience and Community Involvement Manager and Defibuary Lead, said: “Immediate CPR and defibrillation can more than double the chance of survival, so it’s really important that public access defibrillators are registered on The Circuit, and have an allocated guardian.
“Defibuary is all about education and taking away the fears people may have in dealing with cardiac arrests.
“You don’t need to be trained in CPR, as a 999-call handler will talk you through exactly what to do, but knowing how to perform CPR can help you remain calm in an emergency.
“Defibrillators are easy to use, designed to be used by anyone and cannot cause any harm to the person.”
When someone has a cardiac arrest, they collapse and become unresponsive.
They either stop breathing entirely, or they may take gasping or infrequent breaths for a few minutes, which can be misinterpreted as snoring.
If you see someone having a cardiac arrest, phone 999 immediately and start CPR.
The call handler will tell you exactly what to do, and if there is someone else at scene, instruct you to send them to the nearest identified defibrillator.
A defibrillator will deliver a controlled electric shock to try and get the heart beating normally again.
Watch this video from the Resuscitation Council UK about how to perform CPR.
It is important that new and existing defibrillators are registered on The Circuit in order that 999 call handlers can quickly and easily alert callers to their location if needed.
Check www.defibfinder.uk to see where your nearest defibrillator is.
Across Defibuary, look out for the educational posts or tweets across the @WelshAmbPECI Twitter account.
Heart attack symptoms
Heart attack – what to do
Patient usually conscious
A feeling of pressure
Burning in the chest
Central chest pain which may radiate into the back, jaw and arms
Call 999 immediately
Sit the patient down
Keep them at rest
Keep them calm
Cardiac arrest symptoms
Cardiac arrest – what to do
Stop breathing normally
Call 999 immediately and listen closely to the call handler
Begin CPR immediately
You’ll be told if there is a defibrillator nearby and be asked if someone there can go and collect it