"Research from the Arrhythmia Alliance shows that over 100,000 people in the UK suffer sudden cardiac death. Of these people, survival rates would improve five-fold if a defibrillator was available."
Plans have been announced by NHS England, NHS Scotland, the British Heart Foundation and Microsoft to map out the UK’s public access defibrillators.
It comes following research that found one of the main barriers to the use of public access defibrillators is the location of many is unknown.
Lancashire-based Direct365 is calling for UK businesses to purchase an onsite Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to help save lives in the workplace.
A recent survey by Direct365* revealed that 52% of the businesses asked have never considered buying, or bought, a life-saving defibrillator.
There is currently no UK legislation that requires organisations, including schools and colleges, to install an AED unit, although many governing bodies have issued guidance suggesting that defibrillators should be made available.
The research found that the main reason for consideration of purchasing a defibrillator would be if they came recommended in first-aid training courses or were included in first-aid kits.
Kathryn Skinner, General Manager at Direct365, said: “Research from the Arrhythmia Alliance shows that over 100,000 people in the UK suffer sudden cardiac death. Of these people, survival rates would improve five-fold if a defibrillator was available.
“Although we have seen a rise in the number of AED units, there are still a significant number of businesses that don’t even think about adding the life-saving devices to first-aid kits.
“Of those customers who had installed a defibrillator, some had already been used to help save a life. A defibrillator plays a crucial role in an emergency and businesses should ensure that staff and customers are protected by having an AED unit installed, as well as training staff on how to use them.”
One Direct365 customer used a defibrillator to help save a customer’s life in a shopping centre five years ago and has been an advocate for them ever since. Jack Tolson said: “I think defibrillators should be everywhere, both in the workplace and in public spaces. I was first on the scene of an incident in a previous workplace, and a defibrillator, which was provided by the ambulance service in this instance, was used. Businesses should take it upon themselves to have a defibrillator installed, they could potentially save the life of your employee or customer.”
For more information on defibrillators and Direct365 visit www.direct365.co.uk
*Survey consisted of 180 of Direct365 customers