Cardiac Arrest victims are around 50% more likely to survive if a defibrillator is available to treat them compared to about 5% without it. Yet less than half of workplaces and only a small percentage of sports clubs have the vital equipment to deal with a cardiac arrest, says First Aid training expert Mike Taylor.

Newcastle ACMike of Abacus Training has worked with Newcastle (Staffs) Athletics Club to install a defibrillator at their Ashfields New Road headquarters.  The defibrillator was purchased following the death of longstanding club member Steve Askey from a cardiac arrest, sustained while on a training session with fellow runners. Abacus Training supplied the defibrillator and donated free training in its use for club members.

Mike said: “I understand that Steve was a much loved member of the club. While it is no real consolation, the fitting of a defibrillator is a lasting legacy to Steve and could help save lives if other runners suffer cardiac problems. There are no rules in place for sports clubs on defibrillators, whether they have the equipment on site is purely voluntary. As a first aid trainer, I would class defibrillators as essential kit in the sporting sector, but in many cases, it is only the large gym chains that have them.”

“The statistics are stark. There are around 60,000 cardiac arrests outside of hospital each year in the UK and the UK Resuscitation Council says defibrillators should be available where ever treatment is more than five minutes away. If you have a cardiac arrest outside of hospital and with no trained first aiders about, your chances of survival are just six per cent. This rises to 60 per cent where a defibrillator is available within about 3 minutes. Yet a survey by IOSH (the Institute of Occupational Health) recently revealed that less than half of UK workplaces had a defibrillator.”

If you are interested in finding locations for defibrillators that are available in the community have a look at www.defibtracker.co.uk