Physio Matters have invested in a defibrillator for their offices to ensure client and staff safety and help save lives in an emergency.
Research has shown that using a defibrillator within 3–5 minutes of collapse can enhance survival rates by as much as 50–70%. Costing £1500, the defibrillator is registered with the National Defibrillator Network. It is very easy to use, and no training or experience is needed.
Colin Green, Director at Physio Matters said: “We regularly have clients visiting our offices, as well as our staff and other visitors so it makes sense to have this life-saving equipment on hand in an emergency.
Our clients have complex health issues and multi-pathologies, and our physio sessions include exercise which can place stress on the body. Thankfully, we have never had an incident requiring a defibrillator, but we thought it a wise precaution to invest in one to give people the best chance of recovery in case they were to experience a heart attack.”
How the defibrillator works
A defibrillator gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest. It is easy to use and gives loud and clearly spoken instructions on what to do in an emergency. It explains how to attach two defibrillator pads to a person’s chest, which it uses to assess their heart rhythm. It will only instruct the user to deliver a shock if it’s needed, so someone can’t deliver a shock accidentally.
Survival increases with a defibrillator
To help someone who is in cardiac arrest effectively, a defibrillator needs to be found as quickly as possible. For every minute it takes for the defibrillator to reach someone and deliver a shock, their chances of survival reduce.
According to the British Heart Foundation, there are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year. A cardiac arrest means that the heart has stopped pumping blood around the body and is often due to a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm caused by a heart attack, or a heart rhythm problem. In the UK, only 1 in 10 of people who have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survive. However, using a defibrillator to shock the heart back into beating again and performing CPR can more than double the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest in many cases.
Colin added: “Having a defibrillator in your workplace can save lives. We want to protect our clients and ensure their safety, so I’m proud we now have one. We’re also making it available to anyone else in our office building who needs to use it. Hopefully we won’t need it, but it is reassuring for everyone to know we can access one immediately if we do.”
To find out more about defibrillators and how to perform CPR, visit the British Heart Foundation website at:
4 steps to take if someone is having a cardiac arrest
Cardiac arrests can happen to anyone, at any time. If you come across someone in cardiac arrest:
- Phone 999
- Start CPR
- Use a defibrillator – ask someone to bring you a defibrillator if there’s one nearby or ask the emergency operator to tell you where one is, so you can ask someone to get it. Defibrillators are normally located in workplaces and public spaces like airports, shopping centres, community centres, and train stations.
- Turn on the defibrillator and follow its easy step-by-step instructions.
*Illustrations courtesy of St John’s Ambulance.