‘Defibrillator Maps’ are a new way of Saving Lives.
We recently published a news story about Scottish Ambulance chiefs encouraging businesses and organisations to help populate maps for emergency services, in order for them to quickly search and recommend local defibrillators in the case of Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest can happen to absolutely anybody, at any time. It is a very real problem in the UK and around the world that response times for emergency services simply isn’t quick enough for how short the timeline is from Sudden Cardiac Arrest to death.
Emergency responders and members of the public on the scene having access to knowledge of where to find defibrillators could save thousands of lives every year.
Around 90,000 people die from Sudden Cardiac arrest every year in the UK alone. It is triggered when an electrical malfunction in the heart causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) which disrupts the natural pumping action and flow of blood form the heart and leaves the brain, lungs and other major organs without blood supply.
Whilst there are certain lifestyles and activities that will increase the risk of SCA, it can happen to anyone at any time, which is what makes it all that bit more dangerous, and also what makes readily available Defibrillators so vital. A SCA can kill you in as little as 10 minutes, with the chances of survival even from attempted resuscitation depleting more and more with each minute.
Emergency services are already utilising defibrillator maps, at least in areas of Scotland, to aid emergency response callers to help first aiders or other emergency responders on the scene.
It is very simple to both combine and utilise the ‘defibrillator map’, which is what makes it so effective when it comes to using it to help save lives. Asking companies and organisations who have a defibrillator on their premises, whether it be a school, gym, office building or a retail store, to share their defibrillator location on a map, accessible by the emergency services.
Emergency services can then quickly search this map and relay locations for defibrillators to members of the public who are calling in as a first aider on the scene of a SCA or to any emergency services personnel who are on the scene without a defibrillator.
Building a database of defibrillator locations is something that shouldn’t be limited to private lists or emergency services usage – the potential for apps to be developed, or websites created which help people find the nearest Defibrillator in a time of need, or for prior preparation, is huge.
It could help to bring down the time in which members of the public can give proper first aid to a Sudden Cardiac Arrest sufferer in comparison to calling an ambulance and waiting for it to show up.
The potential for this expands much further than just a resource for emergency services. Collecting data around the country, and the world, about defibrillator locations can be incredibly useful. Whether it is for readily available apps for the public, websites or alert systems – first aid from the public has the potential to be one of the best ways to reduce the number of deaths every year, especially from SCA. Educating people on locations for defibrillators, how they can find them and support in using them can only be a good thing when it comes to saving lives.
With modern gadgetry, there is multitude of ways you could speed up the process of getting a defibrillator on the scene when it is needed most, as opposed to waiting for an ambulance. Smart watching, smart glasses, phones or iPods could all be used to request the locations of the nearest Defibrillator, and in a few years it may even be possible to get one delivered to you at the push of a button, via drone.
The possibilities are endless and exciting, and it all starts with the build-up of defibrillator maps, as well as more companies, businesses, organisations, councils and members of the public seeing the importance of defibrillators and installing them on their premises or in public places.