Call for more defibrillators to save more lives

The London Ambulance Service is launching a campaign to get more defibrillators in public places and save more lives.  

Defibrillators – machines that can restart a heart if it stops – should be like fire extinguishers in every public building or office and people working there trained to use them.

Our scheme offers guidance and support in buying, storing and using a defibrillator and is the first of its kind in the UK. The machines, which are easy and safe to use, are the only effective way to restart a heart if it stops.

Ambulance Operations Manager Chris Hartley-Sharpe said: “In 2011 in London, 56 people died from a fire compared to 10,000 people who suffered an out of hospital cardiac arrest, yet fire extinguishers are statutory in every building and defibrillators are not.

“Londoners’ chances of survival from a cardiac arrest could be doubled if they had a quick access to a defibrillator and people knowing CPR. Our campaign will encourage more of the lifesaving machines and skills in the capital.”

Steve Hodder’s life was saved thanks to a defibrillator at London Bridge station. He said: “Most people don’t survive a cardiac arrest but I was lucky. My heart stopped near a defibrillator and someone who knew how to use it.”

Network Rail Station Officer Eddie McDermott, who helped to save Steve’s life, said: “We need more defibrillators across London to encourage more people to use them and save lives.”

If you would like to get a defibrillator, please visit www.londonambulance.nhs.uk/defib