Sheffield business leaders urged to back life-saving defibrillator campaign
Organisation Heartsafe Communities is on a mission to give the city dozens of new defibrillators which can mean the difference between life and death when people have sudden cardiac arrests.
The machines would be accessible at all times, and increase the chance of survival in patients from less than three per cent to more than 75 per cent.
Last week the first defibrillator to be installed as part of the campaign was put in place at Hillsborough Shopping Centre.
Paid for by Hillsborough ward funds, it will also have a commemorative plaque in honour of late Sheffield MP Harry Harpham, who worked with Heartsafe to bring the campaign to the city.
Michael McCann, from Heartsafe, said defibrillators could help to save scores of lives.
He added: “Sudden cardiac arrest is the UK’s biggest killer and, currently is almost always fatal.
“It’s no exaggeration to state that an automated external defibrillator is one of the most important pieces of medical equipment in the world.
“So it’s plain to see, that placing them where a cardiac arrest can occur, will have a significant impact on survival rates.”
There are 26 fatalities because of sudden cardiac arrest in Yorkshire every day.
Businessman Martin Fox was playing football at Hillsborough sports centre three years ago when he fell ill, and knows first hand the difference having a defibrillator can make.
He said: “We had only been playing for five minutes when apparently I collapsed, which I don’t remember doing. The next thing I remember is waking up in a hospital bed with various wires attached to me and my family around.
They told me I had had a sudden cardiac arrest and fortunately for me, the sports centre staff were called and used the defib on me within three minutes of me collapsing. Even more fortunately for me, the staff had received one of their regular training sessions on how to use a defib that very morning.
“How lucky for me was that?”
Martin, of Bents Green, spent two weeks in hospital and had two stents fitted, but has been back at work since.
A charity walk he did with friends and family raised enough money to buy five defibrillators in the community.
Heartsafe is now appealing for businesses to get on board with the campaign.
Defibrillators would be installed in areas of high footfall, such as shopping centres, and remote places.
Businesses will benefit from advertising at the locations.
Defibrillators that are outside cost £1,600 and indoors they cost £999.
They are portable appliances that analyses the heart rhythm and, if needed, administers an electrical charge to the heart in order to establish a regular heartbeat.
Only within the first few minutes following a cardiac arrest will a victim be in a ‘shockable rhythm’, and therefore rapid defibrillation is vital.
AEDs last for 10 years and are approved by Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
For more information, or to make an expression of interest in obtaining a defibrillator, email [email protected]