Tuesday 12th May 2015 – 6.00am – Murray MacGregor.
A project designed to save dozens of lives across the West Midlands is already showing positive progress with a near 10% increase in the number of times a machine has attended an incident.
Towards the end of last year, West Midlands Ambulance Service embarked on a project to install no fewer than 500 automatic external defibrillators (AEDs)across the region at locations with high footfall such as shopping centres or places that see regular call outs on the 999 service, for example, nursing homes.
The plan was simple; if there are more AEDs out there, there is a higher chance of someone unlucky enough to suffer a cardiac arrest being saved.
The two things that will make the biggest differences in saving a life in such situations are starting CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) as soon as possible and early defibrillation. After a patient has collapsed following a cardiac arrest the chances of survival reduces by 10% per minute if nothing is done to help them. Every second really does count.
Community Response Manager, Matt Heward, said: “By installing the machines, which can be used by anyone, we have increased the chances of saving lives right across the region.
“At the start of the project we were seeing an AED deployed about 2700 times a month. That figure has now hit almost 3050 a month; that is about ten times a day more.
“This whole project was about getting defibrillators out into the community where they are going to benefit the public. We’ve seen them installed in golf clubs, leisure centres, town centres, local village communities. The 500th was placed with our colleagues in Central Motorway Police Group.
“We will continue to work with communities and organisations to increase the number of AEDs out there as they can only help save lives.”
If you would like to work with West Midlands Ambulance Service to place a defibrillator in your community, please contact:
Tel: 01384 215 855