Journal Staff


By Journal Staff

London Ambulance Service (LAS), NHS Trust, is running a campaign to get defibrillators in public places across the capital.

The “shockingly easy” campaign aims to get 1,000 extra defibrillators in shops, businesses, and gyms across the capital. As part of the campaign, LAS offers an accreditation program that includes advice, automatic alerts, and debriefings to those involved in using the AED in a cardiac emergency.

The automatic alerting system informs the accredited organization when there is a medical emergency nearby, as well as ensure that someone with life-support skills is informed; the call also alerts the organization to the arrival of ambulance crews.

There is no cost for the accreditation; however, to become accredited, the organization must have a semi- or fully-automatic defibrillator operating according to the latest U.K. Resuscitation Council guidelines, which include items such as battery or pads within the expiration date, storing the defibrillator in a location that is easily accessible and highly visible, and showing proof of staff training in using the AED.

The organization must also record periodic checks and provide phone numbers to call in the event of an emergency near the site.

Around 28 percent of people survive a cardiac arrest in a public place but, where there is a defibrillator and someone trained to use it, the chance of survival can increase to 80 percent, according to statistics from LAS.

The multinational retailer Marks & Spencer is leading the campaign by fitting defibrillators in its 86 London stores and training more than 1,000 staff members to use them in an emergency.