Tuesday 3 August: St John Ambulance is the latest partner to join the British Heart Foundation (BHF) national defibrillator network, The Circuit, a move which it is hoped will potentially help save many thousands of lives when people have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Resuscitation Council UK and the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives are already partners on the pioneering database.
There are an estimated tens of thousands of defibrillators across the UK that aren’t currently registered on The Circuit. St John Ambulance will now be part of a huge nationwide push to encourage the registration of all defibrillators on a central database, meaning that emergency responders will be able to quickly locate and direct bystanders to the nearest defibrillator throughout the UK.
James Radford, Director of Strategy and Communications at St John Ambulance, said:
“As an organisation that teaches people how to deal with a cardiac arrest and whose volunteers have seen first-hand the benefit of using a defibrillator quickly when responding to emergencies, St John is proud to partner with the BHF, RCUK and AACE and to raise awareness of The Circuit so that more lives are saved.
“Through our established networks as the market leader in the provision of first aid supplies, we hope to be able to actively encourage existing customers and those who are buying a defibrillator from us for the first time, to register this vital equipment on The Circuit database.”
Judy O’Sullivan, Director of Health Innovation Programmes at the British Heart Foundation, said:
“We’re delighted to have St John Ambulance join The Circuit. Their expertise and knowledge will help bolster the roll out of the network and make sure that even more people will register their defibrillators, ultimately improving survival rates from cardiac arrests.
“We have already been making great strides in rolling out The Circuit to ambulance services across the UK. Having a high profile and respected organisation on board such as St John, alongside RCUK and AACE, is a great boost to the project at such a critical stage in its implementation.
“It’s important that every defibrillator is connected to The Circuit. If you are a guardian who looks after a defibrillator, whether it be a community one or one in your place of work, ensuring that it is registered to The Circuit could be the difference between life and death.”
There are over 30,000 OHCAs every year in the UK, and every minute that passes without CPR or defibrillation reduces the chances of survival by up to 10 per cent. But, in some instances, CPR and defibrillation can double the chances of survival.
To help improve OHCA survival rates The Circuit will connect every ambulance service in the UK with defibrillators registered to The Circuit, meaning bystanders can be directed to the nearest defibrillator by the 999 call handlers, enabling the equipment to be quickly located, unpacked and used on somebody having an OHCA.
While ambulance services across the UK have existing defibrillator databases for their own regional areas, The Circuit is the first of its kind to connect them all together on a national level.
More information is available on the St John Ambulance website.