Leading charities and health organisations have come together calling for defibrillators to be registered on The Circuit – the national defibrillator network, which connects defibrillators to NHS ambulance services, so that in those crucial moments after a cardiac arrest they can be accessed quickly to help save lives.
There are around 3200 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year in Scotland, but only one in 10 people survive.
Every minute that passes without CPR or defibrillation reduces the chances of survival by up to 10 per cent in some instances, but immediate CPR and defibrillation can more than double the chances of survival.
It is estimated that public-access defibrillators (PADs) are used in fewer than one in 10 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests across the UK – often because 999 call handlers are not always aware that a defibrillator is available nearby because the ambulance service has not been told about it.
The campaign is being backed by The British Heart Foundation (BHF), Resuscitation Council UK (RCUK), St John Ambulance and Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE).
James Jopling, Head of BHF Scotland, said: ““Every second counts when someone has a cardiac arrest and, alongside CPR, prompt use of a defibrillator is critical in giving them the best chance of survival.
"To put it simply, knowing where the nearest defibrillator is could be the difference between life and death.
“The Circuit is pioneering technology which will help emergency services direct bystanders more quickly to a defibrillator when someone collapses with a cardiac arrest.”
Pauline Howie, Scottish Ambulance Service chief executive, said: “The call handlers in our control rooms are trained to provide the location of the nearest registered defibrillator within 500 metres of the call.
“To help save even more lives, we would urge everyone to register the defibrillators that they are responsible for on The Circuit, so that they can be easily located and accessed when needed.”
Defibrillators can be registered at TheCircuit.UK.