St Albans law firm searching for every local defibrillator for life-saving database
- Credit: Archant
An independent law firm is searching for all the defibrillators in St Albans to compile a potentially life-saving exhaustive database.
Employees of Bretherton Law on Verulam Road were on a first-aid day when their trainer asked where the nearest defibrillator was, and no-one knew.
In the event of a cardiac arrest, knowing this information instantaneously could save a life - for every wasted minute the probability of long-term survival decreases by ten per cent.
Although 999 operators can direct callers to the nearest recorded defibrillator, there is no legal obligation for organisations to register if they have one.
Bretherton are encouraging everyone with defibrillators to do so and also creating the index so the public can familiarise themselves with the location and access information in advance.
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After starting the campaign on August 13 Bretherton has had about ten submissions, with more still incoming.
A solicitor at Bretherton, Anne Stockley, said: “I think it is important because people genuinely don’t know where the defibrillators are or when they are available.
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“Every second counts in that situation - if you are trying to Google it when someone is having a heart attack, it is not ideal.
“There are obviously a lot out there but people don’t know about them.”
Less than one in 10 people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK, but in countries with more accessible defibrillators survival rates are up to three times higher.
Anne said feedback from the public about the campaign has been positive so far.
Coincidentally, around the same time that Bretherton launched its campaign the British Heart Foundation (BHF) announced a partnership with the NHS and Microsoft to develop a nationwide map of all defibrillators, scheduled to launch next March.
Bretherton Law said it will collect all the information about St Albans defibrillators and then pass it onto the BHF for the national version once that is up and running.
Anyone with a defibrillator should register it at www.heartsafe.org.uk and let Bretherton know at www.brethertonlaw.co.uk/news/defibrillators-in-st-albans/