THE Welsh Ambulance Service has launched its annual ‘Defibuary’ campaign.
The month-long Twitter campaign is designed to educate the public about the importance of bystander CPR and defibrillation in cases of cardiac arrest.
This year, a plea to ensure all public defibrillators are registered on a national defibrillator network, The Circuit, is being issued.
Fiona Maclean, Patient Experience and Community Involvement (PECI) Manager for the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “Ideally, every community with a defibrillator has a guardian who regularly checks the defibrillator to ensure it is rescue ready.
“We are aware that there are many defibrillators across Wales that are not registered for public access, so may never get used.
“We would encourage communities who have placed a defibrillator to ensure that they are registered and have a registered guardian.
“If communities have a registered defibrillator but no guardian, we are seeking willing volunteers to adopt the defibrillators and register them on British Heart Foundation’s The Circuit so we are able identify where the nearest defibrillator is in an emergency.”
A cardiac arrest is when your heart suddenly stops pumping blood around your body.
When your heart stops pumping blood, your brain is starved of oxygen and this causes you to fall unconscious and stop breathing.
There are over 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year and a person’s chance of surviving will decrease by 10% every minute without good quality CPR and early defibrillation.
Dr Brendan Lloyd, Executive Director of Medical and Clinical Services at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “When someone goes into cardiac arrest outside of hospital, every second is critical.
“They need immediate good quality CPR and may need to be treated with a defibrillator.
“This responsibility will often fall to family, friends or passers-by.
“A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart and is an essential part in trying to save the life of someone who’s in cardiac arrest.
“They can be found in public areas all over the country with registered devices listed on The Circuit website.
“They are simple and safe to use; the machine will tell you what to do so you don’t need training.”
The Defibuary campaign run by the Patient Experience Community Involvement team will be using the Twitter hashtag #Defibuary2021.
Fiona added: “Much of our campaign content this year will focus on not delaying CPR and providing some reassurances to commonly held fears.
“Things such as a defibrillator can never harm a person and will only shock if needed, and also that an emergency call handler will always stay on the line with you to offer assistance when you call 999.
“We will also be signposting to a great educational animation for kids and we would welcome contact from schools who can share this with their pupils who are being home-schooled.
“There will also be an instructional CPR film from Save A Life Cymru for adults to learn life-saving skills.”
If you would like any more information on Defibuary resources you can email PECI.firstname.lastname@example.org and find them on Twitter @WelshAmbPECI.