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Supplying The UK With The Best British Defibrillators On The Market Since 2008

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AED

Guardians

/ˈɡɑːdɪən/

Noun

  1. a person who protects or defends something.

“self-appointed guardians of public morality”

Protector, custodian, keeper, guard, caretaker, warden, steward, sentinel

First Defibrillator

2008 saw the very first public access AEDs (defibrillators) placed in the South West of England near Bristol Airport, in an area known as the Chew Valley.

This countryside region, 9 miles south of Bristol, known for its Chew Valley and Blagdon fishing lakes had been referred to by a local GP as “Death Valley”. Journey times by the Emergency Services often exceeded the aimed response time and when a sudden cardiac arrest occurred, the chances of the victim surviving was even less than the national average of 5-10% of cardiac arrests occurring outside of hospital.

The Man Behind HeartSafe

Clive Setter, a local businessman with keen community interests through Round Table, felt compelled to look at ways of reversing this serious problem.

A member of his family and friends had sadly died through sudden cardiac arrest.

Having travelled in various parts of Europe and noticing the extensive AED network, discussions were arranged with the local Ambulance Service, Great Western Ambulance Service (now SWAST) and a meeting took place with Kim Morrissey, Community Response Manager.

Ambulance Trusts had positioned in areas of high footfall static AEDs for use only by trained personnel. These were to be found in Airports, Railway Stations and Shopping Malls but none were available for the general public who were not trained and did not have access on their doorstep to their own local AED.

During 2007, 15 public access AED sites were identified. Clive commissioned a local engineering company to manufacture suitable exterior heated cabinets and various AED manufacturers were researched to assess the most suitable AED.

A roadshow was arranged with Kim Morrissey and other paramedics from Great Western Ambulance Service. Each village was donated an AED and external cabinet. Awareness training was offered at weekends and the initiative was rolled out, removing the title of “Death Valley”. The aim was to make each village HeartSafe®.

Unknown to Clive and Kim, this new initiative became the start of a UK project. Ambulance Trust personnel from all over the UK visited the Chew Valley to learn of the local initiative. Many other organisations pursued the same goal in all parts of the country with the aim to save more lives.

Guardian

Local community participation was essential for each PAD site to be successfully maintained, ensuring the AED was rescued ready at all times.

The immediate need was to have a person(s) volunteering, becoming responsible for checking their AED and cabinet in a set procedure. Clive put out the word to the villages that “guardian angels” were required to assist with the AED initiative. A network of guardians was established, each reporting fortnightly to AED Locator who in turn having ensured all checks were correct forwarded the information to the Ambulance Trusts making communication simpler.

A map was formed with the AEDs identified. The general public became very aware of the benefits of having a local AED. The word spread and local initiatives throughout the County started to grow.

During the last 13 years, thousands of HeartSafe® cabinets with AEDs have been installed, by many generous organisations and fundraising events.

The British Heart Foundation, for the last 4 years used the bespoke monitoring system, Attention, which HeartSafe® provided to communities and guardians.

The advice given by Clive and AED Locator to the BHF meant they recognised the importance of a national monitoring system and in 2019, “The Circuit” was launched. During the next few years, the intention is to have all Ambulance Trusts using “The Circuit” with every guardian reporting direct to “The Circuit”.

Group of paramedics at British Heart Foundation Event
Group of Paramedics With External Defibrillator Cabinets

“From little acorns do mighty oaks grow”

Great Western Ambulance Service with the enthusiasm of Kim Morrissey and her colleagues were able to overcome the torturous route with red tape and establish a UK public access AED policy.

If you are a guardian reading this statement, may I thank you on behalf of all the people in the UK who have benefited by having a local AED close by?

Without your support, which is given freely / voluntarily and not recognised (in fact not heard of) by many, the PAD site initiative would not be able to operate.

Regrettably more lives would be unnecessarily lost as a result of sudden cardiac arrest.

A statement from Clive Setter of HeartSafe® AED Locator.

Automatic External Defibrillator on wall
Group Of Scouts Stood around HeartSafe Defibrillator On Wall

Update The HeartSafe Map With Your AED Information

Help us by keeping your AED location information up to date and make all Public Access Defibrillators (PADs) easy to locate throughout the UK. Please allow 2 working days for the AED updates to be added to our map.

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AED Locator (E.U.) Ltd will only use the details provided directly in connection with the services we offer.(Required)

External Defibrillator Cabinet at Westbury Town Council

Register Your AED

HeartSafe® AED Locator encourages the awareness of Public Access Defibrillators (PADs) by offering a website map where owners, communities and businesses can place and locate the defibrillators

This FREE service operates by email only. If you experience any issues or have any enquiries relating to the completion of this form please email [email protected].

Help us by adding your AED in making all Public Access Defibrillators (PADs) easy to locate throughout the UK. Please allow 2 working days for the AED to be added to our map.

To register your AED please complete the form below including the www.what3words.com exact location data.

Find out more about our AED Locator service here.

English flag in the shape of a heart

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AED Locator (E.U.) Ltd will only use the details provided directly in connection with the services we offer.(Required)

AED Locator Service

The service of providing locations of PADs throughout the UK is provided by HeartSafe® AED Locator. It is free for communities, businesses and people who own AEDs who wish to offer them for public use to add. We ask all participants listing their AEDs to ensure information is accurate and the AEDs are “rescue ready” at all times. This is a voluntary service and we aim to add these PAD sites within 28 days. 

This AED locations website is independent and has been set up to assist people looking to find where their local AEDs may be positioned. It is useful for local residents to know where their nearest AED may be as well as for those travelling on holiday. We do not forward your location information to any third party. Registered on this website does not automatically register with your local Ambulance Service. AEDs in HeartSafe® cabinets that we have placed in communities, businesses, schools and sports centres throughout the UK would however have been notified to their respective local Ambulance Service.

By adding your AED to this map, it is not automatically registered with the Ambulance Service. Please ensure you inform your local Ambulance Service of the location of your defibrillator along with access arrangements.

Why HeartSafe® Uses The AED Locator

HeartSafe® AED Locator encourages the awareness of Public Access Defibrillators (PADs) by offering a website map where owners, communities and businesses can place and locate the defibrillators in their local area.

In the event of a suspected SCA (Sudden Cardiac Arrest) the observer and those present must report immediately the incident by ringing the Emergency Services 999. Instructions will be given by the Operator how to assist in the incident. The Emergency Services will advise the caller who reports the incident how to assist.

In good faith, the information provided by others that we display is believed to be correct. In using this website’s data, the user must be aware that the presence of a location of an AED on the map:-

  • Does not guarantee the location is geographically correct. Location information provided on the map has been provided by third parties. We have displayed this information on the map in all good faith to encourage the public to become acquainted with the nearest AEDs in their local community. AEDs continue to grow in numbers with local initiatives, expanding their accessibility and increasing their early deployment. 
  • Does not indicate an absolute right to use the AED. 
  • Does not indicate the AED is guaranteed to be available 24/7.
  • Does not indicate the AED is in full working order. Frequent governance checks are recommended to ensure all equipment is operational but no guarantee can be given.
  • Does not confirm that these are the only AEDs available in each of the locations or other areas. Daily, new defibrillators are being placed to provide greater coverage and accessibility. Other organisations may have placed AEDs available for public access and we would recommend wherever you live, you acquaint yourself with your nearest Public Access Defibrillator. 

Photographs of HeartSafe® Communities .....Ain't No Mountain High Enough.....

Heartsafe external defibrillator at clifton suspension bridge

Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol

External Defibrillator at Mount Snowdon
Snowdon, Wales
External Defibrillator

Stepper Point, Cornwall

Defibrillator outside of West Suffolk House

West Suffolk House

Group of people posing with External Defibrillator Cabinet

Banwell, North Somerset

External Defibrillator at Cheese and Grain, Frome
Cheese & Grain, Frome
External Defibrillator at Frome Fire Station

Frome Fire Station

External Defibrillator at UWE

University of the West of England,

Levington Harbour

External Defibrillator at Thatchers Cider in Sandford
Thatchers Cider, Sandford, North Somerset
External Defibrillator On Portishead Folk Hall

Portishead Town Council

External Defibrillator Cabinet

Kentallen Duror

AED Locations

The AED Locator map lists the closest defibrillators near you in your business, sports club, school or community. First, search and find your nearest defibrillator location using your postcode in case of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Then, find your nearest Heart Restarter.

MAP LOADING TIMES MAY VARY DEPENDING ON DEVICES AND INTERNET CONNECTIONS

Access 24-7

Limited Access

MAP ACCESS KEY

Click the icon in the map and an “information bubble” will appear showing the location of the defibrillator including access information. GREEN Hearts indicate public access defibrillators that are always available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. ORANGE Hearts indicate limited access defibrillators – the “information bubble” will show which days/hours the defibrillator is available for public use.

Life saving defibrillators can be clearly identified in their prominent green cabinet and green overhanging sign, the colour recommended by the international Resuscitation Council.

ABOUT THE AED LOCATOR MAP

The AED locator map offers the public the opportunity to check in their community where defibrillators are closest to your place of home or work. The map identifies defibrillators that are registered by their owners throughout the UK and are listed on the map as they are happy to share access in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest. Anyone owning or providing a defibrillator to their community can freely register it’s availability here.

The map is to encourage people to learn the whereabouts of their nearest defibrillator in advance of ever needing to use one in an emergency. Having this knowledge will save time once you ring 999 and make contact with the emergency services.

The HeartSafe cabinets that are located throughout the uk are clearly identified with the exact address of their location with postcode. We are currently encouraging all cabinets to be registered using the what3words location. Our goal is for every member of the public to have quick and immediate access to a local defibrillator. Saving time saves lives, with Christian Eriksen being the most recent high profile example witnesses by the world during EURO 2020.

REMEMBER, in an emergency always report the suspected SCA immediately to the Ambulance Service… 

Call 999 and follow their instructions.

If you are looking to place a new Public Access Defibrillator in your community, HeartSafe® recommend the Heartsine 500P with its unique CPR feedback – watch the video to see it in action.

HeartSafe® AED Locator recommends the British made HeartSine 500P defibrillator. HeartSafe® believe the HeartSine Samaritan 500P with its unique ICG technology is second to none when saving lives by in experienced helpers. It is specifically designed for lay people with little or no training as well as trained personnel. It is the only defibrillator to provide accurate CPR feedback to the user. Watch the video to the right – its awesome!

HeartSine 500P, click here to view other HeartSine models comparison chart. Contact us now to discuss HeartSine defibrillators for your community, home or work.

Important notice to guardians and PAD site owners

We need to maintain accurate information of your defibrillator availability and your AED location details. This will allow us to continue with your registration on the free AED Locator map. Please help us by re-registering your AED here as soon as possible. Your prompt assistance in this matter will help us to keep your community safe and support this local service.

Our Recommended Defibrillator For Sports Clubs

HeartSine Rucksack with 500P Defibrillator

As part of our push to get to ensure lives are saved within both amateur and professional sports clubs. HeartSafe recommends the HeartSine P500 Defibrillator. This defibrillator has been voted by HeartSafe AED Locator as the number 1 AED (automated external defibrillator) to save lives, no matter if someone has had any formal training or not… This is designed specifically for lay people with little or no training. Place an order today to participate in our sports clubs defibrillator special

AED LOCATOR MAP FAQs

No, the map shows PAD sites that have been registered by caring owners who wish to share their defibrillator with the community. There may be many hundreds of non-registered defibrillators. In a emergency call 999 and the ambulance service will advise you on what to do.

We request a monitoring guardian who monitors each PAD to ensure it is rescued ready at all times. There is no guarantee that it will be there when you need it as it may have been recently deployed and awaiting a returned to service.

We recommend an initial discussion to establish the best location and type of housing for your defibrillator. Do not rush and make a quick purchase until you have received professional advice to ensure your investment is made correctly using the best proven products with longest warranty.

 

Enquire Now

A frequently asked question, HeartSafe defibrillators are provided with instructions on how to return your AED to its cabinet or owner. There also may be instructions held with the defibrillator that you use. Remember, early returns can save lives!

Your actions in giving voluntary assistance to the best of your ability in the quickest way possible is all that can be asked. Remain online when talking to the ambulance service for instructions.

Heartsafe recommend the Samaritan 500p because of its ICG (Impedance cardiography) with accurate CPR feedback. The defibrillator verbally instructs you in both speed and strength of the compressions insuring you provide quality CPR.

 

See how this defibrillator works.

 

Buy our recommended defibrillator.

Heartsafe’s team is here to help you find the right defibrillator for your community. See our defibrillator packages today.

Once you have purchased a defibrillator you can register your defibrillator on our map.

About HeartSafe

Welcome to the UK’s leading Public Access Defibrillator website. Our aims and principles have not changed. Saving lives is our first and foremost objective.

Protect lives & make your community HeartSafe®

Why HeartSafe®

Welcome to the UK’s leading Public Access Defibrillator website. AED Locator is pleased to introduce you to the www.heartsafe.org.uk website.
Our aims and principles have not changed. Saving lives is our first and foremost objective.

Using innovative, advanced technology with HeartSafe® Public Access Cabinets and Defibrillators, we provide communities with proven solutions to obtain AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) in the quickest time possible should a sudden cardiac arrest occur.

If your community does not have quick and easy access to a defibrillator, a life could be lost unnecessarily. Don’t delay, follow the HeartSafe® initiative and protect your family and friends.

Expertise to Guide You in Choosing the Right AED

  • Because every individual Public Access Defibrillator location is different from the next, we recommend you use our experience to advise you. We have already placed thousands of defibrillators in different locations throughout the UK.
  • From the top of the mountains of Snowdonia to the rugged coastline of Cornwall, from the fells in Cumbria to the Mendip Hills, from the Highlands and Islands in Scotland to inner-city areas of major cities, along with hundreds of towns, villages and rural communities. Our experience cannot be surpassed.

Easy to Use, British Manufactured, CE rated, Stainless Steel, AED Cabinets

  • The HeartSafe® cabinet package is designed to last for a generation and longer. We believe the quality of our hand-crafted and finished stainless steel cabinets is the very best money can buy. The defibrillators we recommend are to suit best your needs and requirements. Futureproof, with lock/, unlock settings. Illuminated lock, a medical green beacon for maximum visibility at night. Tested in extreme conditions down to -40°. Bespoke cabinet wording with location information.
  • If laypeople are likely to be the end-users do not make the mistake of purchasing a defibrillator that does not provide the user with CPR feedback. It will not necessarily cost more money, but it will improve the CPR performance of the layperson. Defibrillators do not shock every time when used on a patient, only when a shockable arrhythmia is detected. Approximately 50% of the time when used, it does not shock and the good Samaritan® that is assisting is left to do CPR. Make sure your AED guides you accurately in giving CPR allowing the patient a greater chance of survival.
  • You are only likely to purchase such a piece of technical equipment once, so make sure you get it right the first time. We offer 8-year warranties on cabinets and defibrillators. Your investment needs careful research and we are happy to provide you with an individual quotation tailored to your needs. Contact us now
  • It is claimed 70% of people giving CPR make no effective difference to the survival of the patient. It is not as simple as watching CPR being performed on the TV series Casualty to know what to do. Being able to provide quality CPR with sufficient blood being circulated allowing oxygen to reach the brain. Sadly too many people having suffered SCA do not survive as the brain is damaged through lack of oxygen. Being able to give quality CPR whilst the Emergency Services are on their way is essential for the patient to survive. Sadly despite the samaritan’s best endeavours the depth and rate of chest compressions are not sufficient. However, the Heartsine 500P with accurate CPR feedback will help to maintain high-quality CPR with a greater chance of survival.
  • A quality-controlled method of recognising the standard for your Public Access Defibrillator site monitored and supported by HeartSafe® AED Locator, simple and accurate.
  • HeartSafe® AED Locator and the HeartSine Samaritan® PAD 500P defibrillator are British manufactured and assembled. Buy the best.

The Chew Valley Initiative 2007... how it all began

A local GP referred to the Chew Valley area of North Somerset (about 9 miles south of Bristol) as “Death Valley”. This was overheard by Clive Setter who lived and worked in the Valley who subsequently spoke to his sister, Trudie Lobban who is the CEO of the Arrhythmia Alliance Charity. A cunning plan was devised to commence a pilot scheme linked with the Great Western Ambulance Service (now South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust) to place Public Access Defibrillators in secure weatherproof heated cabinets throughout the Valley. Some 16 Villages were targeted. Local communities were appraised of the initiative and supported it. CPR training sessions commenced.

The “Death Valley” became the “Safe Valley” and HeartSafe® was born with each Village becoming HeartSafe® and having a greater opportunity of using a defibrillator in the following few vital minutes after a cardiac arrest was suspected whilst the Emergency Services made their way to the incident.

2020 - 2021 - Covid-19

Despite this difficult time, communities, businesses and sports clubs have continued to invest in HeartSafe® defibrillator packages. There has never been a more important time to ensure a life saving defibrillator is at the end of your road within the community.

How We Can Help You in your Community...

  • Are you looking to provide a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) in your community, sports club, place of business or school? There is nowhere we cannot help you. Do you wish to purchase a cabinet and defibrillator, seeking advice on awareness/training? If so, contact us here for experienced unbiased advice and guidance on the best approach to make your community HeartSafe®.
  • If you already own a defibrillator and you would like to purchase a cabinet and place it on the HeartSafe® AED Locator website for the public to know its position? For more information, click here.
  • Do you already own a cabinet and wish to place it on the HeartSafe® AED Locator website? For more information, click here.
  • Do you wish to become a guardian in your community and wish to establish a community scheme? For more information, click here.
  • Are you a community first responder and would like to know where your nearest defibrillator is in your community? For more information, click here.
  • Any other questions however unusual they may be, please send them to [email protected] for our team of advisers to help and hopefully answer.

Ambulance Services Benevolent Fund

At any time in our lives, it is likely that we will need the help of the Emergency Services. Our health and our well-being is the most important valuable part of our day-to-day life. When things go wrong we call for help and in a matter of minutes, trained paramedics can be on the scene assisting us. As soon as they arrive and attend to our problems and if necessary speed us to hospital, the paramedics are often out of our minds as they move on to the next emergency. 

If you ever felt you wish to thank these skilled, trained professionals who are challenged each day, then please consider making a donation directly to their Benevolent Fund to assist their members who may well need support due to accidents and illness encountered in their efforts to help others. Each day thousands of people view this website and if only a few are able to offer donations to the Ambulance Services Benevolent Fund (ASBF) then it will be hugely appreciated.

 

Please donate to this very worthy cause

https://www.theasc.org.uk/our-story/

ASBF LOGO

HeartSafe® Testimonials

“I actually died on the squash court floor”

Here are some real-life stories of people who have been fortunate enough to have had their lives saved by a HeartSafe defibrillator after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest.

The Sir Ranulph Fiennes Story – A Good Day to Die

Sir Ranulph Fiennes, as described by the Guinness Book of Records, is the greatest living explorer.  In 1993 he became one of the first men to walk unaided across Antarctica, overcoming life-threatening situations in the process.

When you hear his name you think fitness and stamina but in June 2003 after boarding a flight to Edinburgh at Bristol Airport he suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest.  Fortunately the Airport’s firefighters were able to revive Sir Ranulph using an Automatic External Defibrillator, a device that shocks the heart.  He later underwent a double heart bypass operation at Bristol Royal Infirmary Hospital.

Sir Ranulph doesn’t remember anything three days prior to the attack as well as the three days after the attack, so his thoughts on his heart stopping are all second hand.

He says of the arrest “I know I am amazingly lucky to have had a Sudden Cardiac Arrest at an airport that had a defibrillator in easy reach and had the expert assistance of the Blue Watch of the Bristol Airport Fire Station who were able to attend immediately”.

“In future all expeditions I embark on will have a defibrillator as a standard kit along with morphine, a first aid kit etc”

 

“I also feel very lucky to be alive, because the truth is most people who suffer a Cardiac Arrest are not in hospital surrounded by doctors, but at home or in public places.  Many do not survive because life-saving treatment simply does not come quickly enough”.

“The surgeons and firefighters who worked in me all say the key item in surviving a Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the availability of a defibrillator within 2 or 3 minutes.  This means that defibrillators should be available in places where there are lots of people such as supermarkets, shopping centres, airports etc.”

“If you had a defibrillator, which is a small comparatively inexpensive item, set up in these places as it will make all the difference – I know because I’m alive because there was one at an airport”.

The Gary Humphries Story – “Kick Start your Heart!”

‘I actually died on the squash court floor’, said Gary of Caerphilly, South Wales.

Gary Humphries will never forget the time his heart stopped beating for more than two minutes as he played his weekly game of squash.  The 49-year old suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest in the middle of a game in November 2003 and had no pulse or heartbeat.

Fortunately for Gary, he and his squash partner were playing at the Hawthorne Leisure Centre in Rhondda Cynon Taff, where a new type of resuscitation device was available.  

The LIFEPAK™ defibrillator was put on his chest and moments later his heart was beating again.

Gary said: ‘I felt nothing, no pain or anything.  In fact, I remember very little about it.  I was clinically dead for 2 minutes.  I would not have pulled through but for the defibrillator, and if we hadn’t gone to that particular Leisure Centre I’d be dead.”

7 out of 10 Cardiac Arrests such as that suffered by Gary, happen outside the hospital and only a tiny fraction of victims survive, largely because of the lack of rapidly available resuscitation equipment.

The chances of survival drop by up to 10% for every minute that goes by without treatment.

Less than 5% of people in the UK survive Cardiac Arrest outside hospital whereas the rate in Seattle climbed to 40% after defibrillators were been made available to the public.

Gary was playing against his friend and work colleague, Mike Smith, when he collapsed, and together they campaigned for a defibrillator to be installed at their workplace.  Since Gary resumed work in September 2004, their employer, General Electric, has invested in a defibrillator.

Heartsafe external defibrillator at clifton suspension bridge

HeartSafe® Sport Clubs

Let’s now make changes to avoid further lives being lost. Install a HeartSafe® cabinet and AED as part of this year’s training plan. Contact us now

  • Contact sports increase the chances of cardiac arrest.
  • Tens of thousands of people daily are involved in a sport, only a few per cent may be covered with an AED close to them.
  • Buy now from as little as £1,999 plus VAT, ensure a HeartSafe® cabinet package monitored and linked to the local Ambulance Trust, with the latest AED that provides live CPR feedback is watching over you on the sideline.
  • Whether it is football, rugby, cricket, tennis, bowls, swimming, a story can be told about every sport where a person has unnecessarily died of cardiac arrest as a defibrillator was not close to hand.
  • When reading this page, a person will come to mind who you would have heard of or known that would have had a cardiac arrest and sadly died. Regrettably, there are more stories told of people who have died than survived.
  • Help reverse this trend – deploy a defibrillator.Find out more
Automatic External Defibrillator at Bolton Wanderers

Fabrice Muamba former professional footballer suffered a sudden cardiac arrest during a game and survived thanks to immediate medical care combined with the rise of a defibrillator 

External Defibrillator At long ashton golf club

Long Ashton Golf Club

Defibrillator attached to a wall

Shipston Leisure Centre

External Defibrillator at Swanage Sea Rowing Club

Swanage Sea Rowing Club

Automatic External Defibrillator at Branksome Chine

Branksome Chine

Automatic External Defibrillator at Portishead Yacht & Sailing Club

Portishead Yacht & Sailing Club

External Defibrillator at Yeovil Recreational Club

Yeovil Recreation Centre

External Defibrillator at Swanage Bowls Club

Swanage Bowls Club

External Defibrillator at Mendip Golf Club

Mendip Golf Club

External Defibrillator at Keynsham RFC

Keynsham RFC

External Defibrillator at Wellington AFC

Wellington Football Club

External Defibrillator at Claverham Cricket Club

Claverham Cricket Club

Recent famous Sports personalities and celebrities that have suffered and survived an SCA include:-

Fabrice Muamba

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Bernard Gallacher

Sadly, famous people who died of cardiac arrest include:-

Michael Jackson

James Stewart

Carrie Fisher

Brittany Murphy

Christopher Reeve

Tommy Cooper

Mother Teresa

Tony Curtis

Bob Harpe

Who is at risk for SCA?

The size of your business and place of work may vary, and it is true to say the more people there are, the more chance a person may suffer an SCA. 

The location where people are employed can increase the chances of an SCA, such places include:-

  • Very stressful public areas such as airports, train stations, shopping malls etc
  • Working outside in cold weather can influence the possibility of SCA such as building sites, agricultural industry etc.
 

SCA often occurs in active people who seem to be healthy and have no known medical conditions. In these patients, SCA is the first indication of a heart condition. However, some people can be identified in advance as being at risk for SCA. Risk factors include:- 

  • Previous heart attack
  • Coronary artery disease (and risk factors for CAD including smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, elevated LDL cholesterol, family history of heart disease, sedentary lifestyle)
  • Heart failure from other causes
  • Abnormal heart rate or rhythm (arrhythmia) of unknown cause
  • Episodes of fainting of unknown cause
  • Low ejection fraction (EF) (<35%)
Students at school with external defibrillator

Schools & Universities

Here are some locations where installations of HeartSafe® cabinets have been added, ranging from Primary education to Universities…

First School To Become HeartSafe

The first school to become HeartSafe® in 2007 was Chew Valley Secondary School, Chew Magna, BS40 8QB.

The pilot scheme that was established between AED Locator, Arrhythmia Alliance and Great Western Ambulance Service provided a HeartSafe® cabinet and defibrillator outside the school premises next to the Sports Centre. 

During the first week, all students were spoken to at assembly and informed of the contents of the “green cabinet”. Demonstrations of CPR and the use of the defibrillator were given using the Headmaster Mr Mark Mallett as the patient. 

Initially more thumbs were down than up when explaining the chain of survival to the students as to whether the Headmaster should be given a shock by a defibrillator! 

One student was noted in stating that “don’t worry about security of the defibrillator and cabinet, now we know how important a defibrillator is for our friends and family, we will be your eyes and ears and look after the cabinet”. This message has been repeated a thousand times since that poignant moment. 

The School now has 2 AEDs and staff and some students trained in CPR. The School has also offered its premises for HeartSafe® AED Locator to offer free CPR lessons to the community that covers over 20 Villages in the Chew Valley.

Hundreds of other Schools have subsequently followed the example that Chew Valley Secondary School set and throughout the UK more and more primary and secondary schools are deciding to have a defibrillator close by in case a child, student, staff member or visitor suffers an SCA. 

Photographs of schools & universities with PADs

UWE Frenchay Students Union

External Defibrillator at frenchay student union

Budmouth College

Defibrillator attached to a wall

Alcesters Grammer School

External Defibrillator at a school entrance

John Mason School

External Defibrillator at John Mason School

St Joseph Primary School

External Defibrillator at St Joseph's Primary School, Portishead

UWE Frenchay Bus Building

External Defibrillator at UWE Frenchay Bus Building

UWE Frenchay Campus

External Defibrillator at UWE Frenchay Site

Chew Valley Secondary School

External Defibrillator at Chew Magna Secondary School

Churchill Community School

External Defibrillator at Churchill Community School

Barrow Sixth Form College

college Defibrillator

Taunton School

External Defibrillator at Taunton School

UWE Centre for Sport

UWE Bristol Frenchay Campus Sign

St Johns School, Bath

External Defibrillator at Primary School

St Merryn School

External Defibrillator at St Merryn School

Are children and the young affected by sudden cardiac arrest?

Arrhythmia Alliance has worked with experts to develop information sheets and booklets specifically for children. The booklets cover the basics of how the heart works and how to take a pulse. There are also booklets designed for children for whom an implantable device has been recommended by a clinician. Please click here to navigate, and to access detailed information on the heart and SCA Booklets for download.

According to Stuart Berger, MD, Associate Professor of Paediatrics and Cardiology at Children’s hospital of Wisconsin and SCA Foundation Advisor, hereditary heart conditions account for about two-thirds of all sudden cardiac arrest cases in young people. These include hypertrophic cadiomyopathy (HCM), which thickens the walls of the left ventricle, obstructing the flow of blood from the heart. HCM affects about 1 in 500 young people and is rarely diagnosed in advance of a cardiac event so it remains the most common cause of heart-related death in athletes and young people under 30. 

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Lifepak CR2 Defibrillator on a tennis court next to a ball and racquet

HeartSafe Maintenance

Order your replacement electrode pads, batteries and consumables here

Maintenance Costs and Replacement of Consumables

Once the cabinet and AED have been installed, running costs are minimal. The cabinet requires a minuscule amount of electricity to power the internal light (which is only activated when the cabinet door is opened), thermostat and heater (to control the temperature of the interior cabinet in cold weather). The cabinet needs a 240V mains electrical supply to run the thermostat, heater and lighting; this is estimated at a few pounds per year. The premises owner should be informed of this cost when the placement of the cabinet is being evaluated.

AEDs have consumable components that will need replacing periodically or when they have been used. The frequency and cost of these varies depending on the make and model of AED. 

You will need to identify who will cover the cost of replacing the consumable components (battery and pads) on their expiry. 

If the pads are used on a patient, then your Ambulance Service may be willing to replace the pads but you will need to confirm this with them.

Should you need to replace the battery or electrode pads within the HeartSine range of AEDs, please contact us and we will be happy to supply these components to you.

What Happens When an AED is Used?

An AED when deployed has an internal memory showing an ECG of the patient and a recording of the event/incident. It has playback capabilities with a custom USB cable directly connected to PC and Windows-based data review software.

  • If your defibrillator is deployed and activated, it will be necessary to follow the manufacturer’s instructions in order that the defibrillator is recommissioned for further use. The advice may vary as per the different manufacturers defibrillator requirements. If you own or have used a HeartSine defibrillator, please click on one of the following HeartSine defibrillator model user guides to follow recommended procedure.

HeartSine Samaritan 350P

HeartSine Samaritan 360P

HeartSine 500P

  • If the AED is taken to the scene of an incident but is not required, it should be returned to the cabinet either by the user or the Ambulance Service.
  • If the AED is required, either the Ambulance Service may take the AED with the patient to hospital or a representative of the Ambulance Service visits the incident and collects the AED from the persons involved with the incident or from the Ambulance crew or hospital. The HeartSine range of defibrillators have a 90 minute memory. When switched on and used, the defibrillator records the event. This information may be required by the Ambulance Service or hospital. Please refer to the HeartSine user manuals above for further information.
  • As part of the HeartSafe® defibrillator package, a deployment log is provided as part of the accessories to assist you to record a log of information of when the AED is used. 
LifePak CR2 Defibrillator being pulled off the wall holder
Man administering CPR to a dummy with the Lifepak CR2 Defibrillator

NHS Insurance Cover when an AED is Deployed under Instructions from the Emergency Services

The Chew Valley initiative, which commenced in 2007 in the Chew Valley region of North Somerset, was supported by the Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust (GWAS). GWAS arranged with their insurers that the user deploying an AED from a cabinet anywhere in the region (i.e. Bristol, North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire) is insured as he/she was acting as a “good Samaritan” under the Ambulance Service’s instruction as no other help from a trained professional is available. 

The Ambulance Services recognise that early deployment of an AED combined with CPR when Sudden Cardiac Arrest occurs, is the only way of increasing the patient’s chances of survivial from under 5% to 50%. Therefore it is important to liaise with your local Ambulance Service to seek their support and help with your project from the outset, including advice regarding insurance cover.

Please click here should you wish to contact us for advice regarding the AED project in your community.

Chain of Survival - Heartsafe

What type of ambulance response time will be given

The most serious life-threatening calls made to the Ambulance Service are dealt with first. Because of this, the Ambulance Trust prioritise calls into nationally-agreed categories. Please refer to your local Ambulance Trust website for information on response times and emergency procedures.

The Emergency Services will always do their best to arrive at an incident in the shortest possible time. However, if the incident occurs at a busy part of the day or weekend or weather and/or traffic problems delay the paramedics arriving within the 8-minute response time, the only way of helping to prevent a life being lost is to follow the chain of survival without delay and administer to the patient good quality CPR and use an AED.

HeartSafe Rucksack And HeartSine Defibrillator

HeartSafe Frequently Asked Questions

If your community does not have quick and easy access to a defibrillator, a life could be lost unnecessarily. Don’t delay, follow the HeartSafe® initiative and protect your family and friends.

What is a sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of premature death, but with immediate treatment many lives can be saved. SCA occurs because the electrical rhythm that controls the heart is replaced by a chaotic disorganised electrical rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF). The quicker VF can be treated by defibrillation the greater the chance of successful resuscitation. Seconds count and the ambulance service is unlikely to arrive quickly enough to resuscitate most victims.

When does a sudden Cardiac Arrest strike?

Sudden cardiac arrest can occur at any time to anyone, of any age. It can occur suddenly, without warning. Research shows that SCAs outside of hospitals are most likely to occur in your home between midnight at 7 am. It is unpredictable. Following SCA the patient’s survival rate drops by 10% every minute without treatment to maintain blood circulation. In the UK, less than 5% of victims survive out of the hospital. Together with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), defibrillation is the only way to re-establish the heart’s natural rhythm. This can only be done by early use of an AED and effective quality CPR.

There is a correlation that the likelihood of SCA increases with extreme weather temperature changes. Statistical evidence proves that in cold weather there is more likelihood of SCA occurring. All sports including contact sports may place people at a higher risk of SCA.

What are the facts about Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the single most significant cause of death – around 100,000 deaths per year are as a result of SCA. It is estimated 60,000 occur out of hospital. Less than 5% of sufferers survive a cardiac arrest. With the early use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and effective CPR, the survival rate can increase to 50%. There is a likelihood that cardiac arrests will occur within the population of one of our business/projects whilst workmen, professionals or visitors are on the premises/site.

Many SCA victims can be saved if persons nearby recognise what has happened, summon the ambulance service with the minimum of delay, perform basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (particularly chest compressions) and use an AED to provide a high energy electric shock to restore the heart’s normal rhythm. Each of these stages is a link in a chain of events that provide the best chance of success, but the critical factor is the speed with which the shock is given.

What is an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)?

An AED is easy to use, compact, portable and very effective. They are designed to be used by laypersons; the device guides the operator through the process by verbal instructions and visual prompts. They are safe and will not allow a shock to be given unless the heart’s rhythm requires it. They are designed to be stored for long periods without use and require very little routine maintenance. Several models are available from the manufacturers or through medical equipment companies.

HeartSafe® recommend a British manufactured defibrillator, the HeartSine samaritan range. Click here to watch how a HeartSine AED is used in an emergency.

What are the features of an AED?

Defibrillators are manufactured in various countries around the world. It is important before a purchase is made that the defibrillator you choose conforms to the MDR Regulations. In May 2020 the MDR Regulations were due to take place however due to Covid-19 this has been postponed by 12 months. Always check with your supplier that your defibrillator is fit for the purpose for the period of warranty. Like with any medical product, there can be recalls and model changes.

Defibrillators have different features and warranty periods vary between 5-10 years. Be aware of the ongoing consumable costs which include the replacement of electro-pads and batteries. Be aware of any monitoring/maintenance requirements. Some defibrillators are able to record events, which can vary from 30 minutes to 90 minutes. Be aware of the expiry date of consumables. Electro-pads and batteries may expire at different dates between 2-5 years.

 

HeartSafe® AED Locator after research has chosen to recommend a British manufactured defibrillator, the HeartSine range. The 3 models 500P, 350P and 360P offer differing operational features but all have a 10-year warranty, exceptional low cost of operating with a free consumable offer for the 10 years of warranty along with a simple monitoring/maintenance program. A recent additional feature of the HeartSine range is remote Gateway wifi monitoring. This can be retrofitted or purchased when new. Click here for information on the Gateway.

Above all, it is having confidence in the defibrillator you choose. It will need to help you with the minimum of fuss and assist in the chain of survival when CPR is administered.

 

The early use of a defibrillator with effective quality CPR within a few minutes of a victim suffering a SCA can increase the odds of survival of the patient. Without the use of a defibrillator and CPR, the patient’s chances of survival are less than 5%. The use of a defibrillator and quality CPR within 3-4 minutes of the arrest occurring can increase the odds of success to 50-70%.

Purchasing a defibrillator can be confusing, as the technical ability and performance of the defibrillator may be only understood by trained personnel and salespersons! When in doubt, before the money is spent, we recommend you discuss with us your specific requirements of where your defibrillator is to be positioned and who it is likely to be used by. We will be happy to give you our advice before you commit to any purchase. Contact Us

How does an AED work?

A defibrillator, whether it is semi or fully automatic is designed to quickly deliver a defibrillation shock to victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Once the electro pads are placed on the victim’s chest, the defibrillator analyses the patient, looking for a shockable arrhythmia (bad heart rhythm). The defibrillator cannot be used incorrectly as it will only deliver a shock to the patient if it detects it is necessary. The electrical shock when administered is to re-establish normal heart rhythm. This treatment is called “defibrillation”. The use of an AED is part of the chain of survival.

Who can use an AED?

AEDs have been installed in many busy public places, workplaces, sports centres, schools and communities. Any location where the Emergency Services may be delayed, particularly remote country areas are the locations to be considered. The intention is to have quick access to the defibrillator and use the device to restart the heart as soon as possible. This strategy of placing AEDs in locations where they are used by laypersons near the arrest is known as public access defibrillation (PAD). HeartSafe® AED Locator is proud of its heritage over the last 12 years. It was the first organisation to place AEDs in public locations, supported by the Ambulance Trust. A pilot scheme in the Chew Valley area, west of Bristol Airport positioned 15 AEDs in purpose-built, designed secure cabinets. Awareness training was given to 15 Villages supported by Great Western Ambulance Service (now SWAST).  To date, many thousands of cabinets have been located throughout the UK. The use of an AED is an extension of the first aid skills possessed by first aid personnel and other appointed persons.

 

However, HeartSafe’s continual efforts in making the use of defibrillators public to all have successfully allowed untrained persons who lack any medical skills to use the defibrillator in an emergency. It is for this reason that the HeartSine range of defibrillators has been chosen as it helps to ensure the layperson is guided through the CPR process and is encouraged to perform chest compressions of high quality. The device will provide you with spontaneous verbal feedback. The device has a 90-minute memory recording of the event and where multiple samaritans assist in giving CPR, each person is brought up to a quality level of CPR when following the feedback the device gives. HeartSafe® AED Locator encourages anyone to have a go and use a public access defibrillator when a person has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. When the victim shows that they are unresponsive/not breathing, an SCA may have occurred and the chain of survival should be followed. 

  • Call 999
  • Start CPR
  • Switch on defibrillator
  • Follow its instructions 

What is the "Chain of Survival" and what are the four links of the “Chain of Survival”?

The Chain of Survival is the series of actions necessary to help save the life of someone who has had a cardiac arrest. The four actions in the Chain are early recognition of the problem and calling 999; early CPR; early defibrillation; and effective post-resuscitation care. All four parts of the Chain are crucial in helping to save the life of a victim. See link to Chain of Survival (British Heart Foundation) for more information click here.

Chain of Survival - Heartsafe

Legal Requirements

In the United Kingdom, there are very few legal barriers to public access defibrillators. A rescuer who has acted appropriately to help a victim of SCA should not be sued regardless of the outcome. Defibrillators are manufactured for public use. It is of course helpful if the person using the AED has knowledge of the chain of survival. However, the defibrillator is made for people with little or no training as well as trained personnel. When the device is switched on it will give verbal instructions for use. The HeartSine samaritan® PAD 500P speaks more and gives accurate feedback to rescuers on the effectiveness of the CPR they are providing to the victim. Recent successful “lives saved” using the 500P have even reported where 5 rescuers (Policemen) took in turn over 26 minutes before the paramedics were able to arrive, provided quality CPR ensuring the brain was not starved of oxygen due to the effectiveness of the feedback given by the device. The rescuers continued to push much harder and much faster than they thought possible. This led to a full recovery of the victim. This is just one of many cases where the feedback to the rescuers made all the difference to the survival of the victim.

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