Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today encouraged the public to support the Scottish Ambulance Service’s Registration to Resuscitation campaign, after Scottish Ambulance Service warned that they do not know where many publicly available defibrillators are situated.
Around 3,500 people in Scotland undergo attempted resuscitation for cardiac arrest outside hospital each year, but only around five per cent survive to hospital discharge. Use of a defibrillator within 3-5 minutes of cardiac arrest can increase survival rates to as much as 75 per cent.
Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“Access to a defibrillator has a massive impact on survival rates. Our emergency services do an incredible job but getting an ambulance to someone within five minutes to administer a defibrillator can be extremely challenging. Every second counts and therefore it’s vitally important that such equipment is available quickly.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats recently revealed how few schools have access to defibrillators. As well as boosting the number of defibrillators in our communities we need to ensure those on the scene before an ambulance can make a lifesaving intervention in the meantime. That starts with logging where this equipment is located and it is welcome that the ambulance service is making a concerted effort to establish this.”
The Scottish Ambulance Service is launching its Registration to Resuscitation campaign on Tuesday 07 March to help save more lives. They are holding a nationwide Day of Action on Friday 10March
Currently, anyone can acquire a defibrillator and they are often based in community centres, sports facilities and other public places. Scottish Ambulance Service are now appealing to local communities to ensure that the SAS know where these are, so when someone calls 999 they will know where the nearest defibrillator is if it is required.
While there is no legal obligation to register defibrillators, the Scottish Ambulance Service now has a dedicated registration website and they are appealing to local communities to ensure that the SAS know where these are, so when someone calls 999 they will know where the nearest defibrillator is if it is required.