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Charity Campaigns for Life Saving Equipment in Workplaces


Britain's workplaces are failing to install vital equipment that could save thousands of lives every year, according to research carried out on behalf of St. John Ambulance.

The charity says that over 170,000 people in the UK die from cardiac arrests every year, but treatment with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) within the first five minutes would cut this number drastically, as it can improve chances of survival from 5% to 50%.

However the study showed that only 5% of workplaces have defribillators, while the majority of people (58%) thought only experienced first aiders could use the machines, while almost a third thought that medical training would be necessary.

Training Manager for St John's Ambulance Elaine Howlings said: "Anyone can use an AED to save a life, but this research highlights an alarming lack of understanding amongst employers and employees. AEDs are actually very simple to use. Our aim is to get more of them into the workplace with more people trained in their use. Surely all responsible employers should be looking at this very seriously."

Howlings said that the most common misconception was that AEDs would be large, unwieldy machines that require the user to analyse the victim's electrocardiogram (ECG) and administer a high-voltage shock through hand-held paddles. She added that modern AEDs are in fact compact machines that automatically analyse the casualty and advise on suitable action through easy-to-follow voice prompts.


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