A campaign which ran throughout February saw over 1,400 people trained in how to locate and use their nearest public access defibrillator.
Defibruary, which was run by Wales’ leading first aid charity St John Cymru, urged people to become more aware of lifesaving defibrillators, when one should be used and where to find one.
Free community training sessions were held throughout Wales and included two public sessions at Wales’ busiest shopping centre, St David’s Centre in Cardiff, where over 400 people were trained how to use a potentially lifesaving defibrillator.
A defibrillator, also known as an automated external defibrillator (AED) is easy to use and can be placed on someone to give a shock to the heart during a cardiac arrest.
The device analyses a casualty’s heart rhythm and will give visual or voice instructions to guide you through each step to use one in an emergency.
Only when it is safe to do so will the device advise and administer a shock.
Sessions also included training in the correct way to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) so if a shockable rhythm is not found, the person can still aid someone in an emergency.
Each year around 8,000 people in Wales experience a sudden cardiac arrest but if more people knew what to do in this type of emergency, more lives could be saved.*
A whole host of public locations now have defibrillators available for public use and despite this, the thought of using one can be daunting; but it doesn’t have to be. When used correctly the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest are up to 70%**
Jon Phillips, Director of Training at St John Cymru said:
“Being equipped with the knowledge to act in an emergency situation really can mean the difference between life and death.
“The use of defibrillators has been proven to make a significant difference to survival rates when used correctly.
“We’re delighted there are now over 1,400 more people in Wales who are now trained in how to use one of these potentially lifesaving devices,
“This figure is testament to our fantastic volunteer and community trainers as well as the Welsh public who supported the campaign,” he added.
For more information about St John Cymru and more about how you can empower yourself with vital first aid skills go to www.stjohn.wales or call 02920 449 600.