WMAS Urge People to Register Defibrillators on The Circuit

Shaunna Farley – Friday 22nd October – 10.00am.

Bosses at West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) are urging defibrillator owners to register their devices on a new national database called The Circuit so that more lives can be saved.

Each year in the West Midlands, there are around 3,700 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, yet just 7% of those patients will survive. However, if the patient gets immediate CPR and early defibrillation the chance of survival can more than double! Every minute that passes without CPR or the use of a defibrillator reduces the chances of survival by up to 10%.

Sadly, the UK’s low survival rate is in part because public access defibrillators are used in less than one in 10 out of hospital cardiac arrests. 

This is often because 999 call assessors aren’t always aware that a defibrillator is available nearby, because the ambulance service hasn’t been told about it. If they don’t know it is there, they can’t direct someone at the scene to retrieve it while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

To help save more lives, WMAS is urging people who own and maintain defibrillators in places such as offices, communities, shopping centres and leisure centres, as well as in public places – to register them on a database called The Circuit: The national defibrillator network which is run by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) with the backing of NHS England.

The Circuit was introduced in the West Midlands last year and allows the Service to see defibrillators that are registered.

It is therefore vital that as many defibrillators as possible are registered on the database for it to work effectively. 

It is estimated that there are thousands of defibrillators across the West Midlands which are still to be registered on The Circuit. To make sure opportunities to save lives aren’t being missed, WMAS and the BHF are calling on everyone who has a defibrillator to make sure it is registered on The Circuit

The Circuit could help to save thousands of lives – but it is vital that as many defibrillators as possible are registered on the database for it to work effectively.  It is estimated that there are tens of thousands of defibrillators which are still to be registered on the new system in the UK. To make sure opportunities to save lives aren’t being missed, the organisations are aiming to see 70,000 additional defibrillators unknown to The Circuit registered by the end of the year. 

Anthony Marsh, Chief Executive of West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS), said: “We know from other countries like Denmark that where there are more defibrillators available, more lives can be saved.  We also know that there are potentially thousands of defibrillators in the West Midlands that we simply don’t know about.  

“By registering your defibrillator on The Circuit, we will be able to direct members of the public to them when there is a cardiac arrest nearby.  By registering your defib, you will become part of a lifesaving team.”

It’s free to register your defibrillator onto The Circuit, and you only have to do it once. You can also register multiple defibrillators if you are the guardian to more than one.

Visit TheCircuit.UK for more information or to register your defibrillator.  

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: “Every second counts when someone has a cardiac arrest and, alongside CPR, prompt use of a defibrillator is critical in giving them the best chance of survival. To put it simply, knowing where the nearest defibrillator is could be the difference between life and death.

“The Circuit is pioneering technology which will help emergency services direct bystanders more quickly to a defibrillator when someone collapses with a cardiac arrest. But for The Circuit to save lives, it is vital that the tens of thousands of unregistered defibrillators across the UK are put on the system.

“If you, or somebody you know is a defibrillator guardian, then we urge you to register your device on The Circuit. You could help save a life.”


For more information and to arrange interviews, contact pressoffice@wmas.nhs.uk  

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