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Why defibrillators save lives?

Each year in Britain around 30,000 people are struck by
sudden cardiac arrest outside of hospital environments. They can affect anyone
at any time – from young children at school, to adults when they’re at home,
work or out in public places.

If victims aren’t treated properly, more often than not,
cardiac arrests are fatal. The British Heart Foundation’s figures show that
only one in ten victims survive. There are a couple of reasons for this sorry
figure – namely the lack of education and training.

This article outlines just how big of a difference
defibrillators (AEDs), alongside effective CPR, make in the survival rate of
victims during this critical time, and the steps people are taking to raise
awareness of the issue.

Before we begin, let’s dispel a common misconception.

The difference between cardiac arrest and heart attacks

A heart attack is when the supply of blood to a part of the
heart stops, causing a part of the heart muscle to die. A cardiac arrest is
when the heart, as a result of an electrical failure, stops beating completely.

This post focuses completely on the latter.

How many people actually die from cardiac arrest in the UK
each year?

The figures below really underline the horrific impact
cardiac arrests have on victims, especially the families of young children who
suffer an attack.

12 people under the age of 35 die each week from sudden
cardiac arrest

270 children die from sudden cardiac arrest suffered on
school premises

Of the the 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest alluded to
at the start of the post, 80 per cent happen at home and another 20 per cent
occur in public places where, due to a lack of proximity to defibrillators, the
victim is at most risk of death.

Whenever cardiac arrest strikes, there is absolutely no time
to lose.

Every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces a
victim’s survival rate by 7 to 10 per cent

They’re that important.

Without immediate treatment, 90-95 per cent of cardiac
arrests prove fatal

A schoolboy passed a first aid course and then went home and saved his younger brother's life just hours later.
Quick-thinking James Reed, nine, stopped his three-year-old brother Harri from choking after he stopped breathing and started to turn blue while eating a sandwich

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