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Appeal to community defibrillator guardians to log life-saving kit

Thursday, January 26th, 2023 12:00am

By Barbara Constable

Yorkshire Ambulance Service has issued an urgent appeal to guardians of community defibrillators across the region to ensure their life-saving kit is registered on a national database.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service has issued an urgent appeal to guardians of community defibrillators across the region to ensure their life-saving kit is registered on a national database.

The British Heart Foundation, in partnership with the Resuscitation Council (UK) and the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, launched The Circuit, a first-of-its-kind programme to connect all defibrillators in the UK to a single network in 2021.

Whilst 4,408 Yorkshire defibrillators are now registered on The Circuit, around 2,500 community public access and static defibrillators across the county are still to be logged.

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service campaign aims to encourage guardians to make sure their device is connected to The Circuit and available to help save lives.

Warren Bostock, Community Defibrillation Officer with Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “Previously all defibrillators were registered directly with Yorkshire Ambulance Service but The Circuit means there is one central national database enabling more efficient emergency access.

“The automated system means guardians are immediately alerted if their device has been used so it can once again be made ‘emergency ready’. It also provides regular reminders for maintenance checks.

“Guardians are responsible for registering their defibrillator on The Circuit and while we can still access defibrillators on our legacy system, we need to ensure all defibrillators, old and new, are connected to The Circuit and available to save the lives of patients in cardiac arrest.”

What do I need to do?

A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest. This high energy shock is called defibrillation, and it's an essential part in trying to save the life of someone who’s in cardiac arrest, along with cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Defibrillators are easy to use, provide audible instructions to the user and will not deliver a shock unless it is required. No training is required to use the equipment.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service activated 940 community defibrillators across the region in December 2022 - the busiest month to date - and 910 of those were through The Circuit. There were 5,375 activations in total across Yorkshire in 2022 - an average of 15 a day.

If you are considering buying a defibrillator for your community, please contact the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Community Resilience Department for advice in the first instance, email yas.communityresilienceaed@nhs.net

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