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Registering defibs will help 'save lives', urges councillor

By Alan Beresford

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A MORAY councillor is urging local communities to ensure their public access defibrillators are registered with the emergency services.

Councillor Sonya Warren: Registering public access defibrillators could "save lives". Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Councillor Sonya Warren: Registering public access defibrillators could "save lives". Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Councillor Sonya Warren has said it is essential for the Scottish Ambulance Service to be aware of the location of these devices so they can direct people to the nearest one in the event of an emergency.

She said: "I was concerned when I heard a story from a constituent who had to give CPR and had trouble locating their nearest defib unit.

"It's essential the Ambulance Service have a complete and accurate map of where public access defibs are located – it could literally be the difference between life and death.

"There are a lot of defibs in Moray but not all of them on the www.thecircuit.uk.

"Folk have worked hard to raised funds for many of these vital pieces of equipment, lets try to make sure they can be utilised to their best advantage.

"I'm planning to contact folk where I am aware of defibs but the faster we get them registered, the better informed the emergency services will be and that may save a life."

The www.thecircuit.uk website is run and was founded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and they use the information they receive through it to update the Ambulance Service as to public access defibrillator locations.

Defibrillators are devices which try to restore a normal heartbeat by sending an electric pulse or shock to the heart. They are used to prevent or correct an arrhythmia – a heartbeat which is either too slow or too fast. The devices can also be used to restart a heart which has stopped beating, for example as a result of a heart attack.

Many types of defibrillator can be used without any training and will not allow a shock to be administered unless one is required.

The Circuit aims to link a UK-wide network of defibrillators to every ambulance service in the country and the public in a bid to help save more lives from out of hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA). According to the BHF just one in 10 OHCA survives with just five percent of casualties receiving bystander defibrillating.

Early defibrillation and CPR can double the chances of surviving an OHCA.

The BHF have stated that tens of thousands of defibrillators are currently not known by ambulance services and that devices are much more likely to be used if they are registered.

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