Gordon MP Richard Thomson has used the opportunity of a debate in Westminster on public access to AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) to encourage constituents to learn how to perform CPR, stating “It could really save a life”.
Speaking during the debate, Richard Thomson MP said:
“The single most effective measure that we could take to improve the survival rate from cardiac arrest is to increase the coverage of automated defibrillators around the country combined with increasing people’s knowledge about how to perform CPR. In Scotland, over the last five years, the Save a Life Scotland partnership has equipped more than 640,000 people, about 11% of the Scottish population, with CPR skills. At the launch of Scotland’s inaugural out of hospital cardiac arrest strategy in 2015, only about one in 20 people in Scotland who experienced an out of hospital cardiac arrest survived. By 2020, that had risen to one in 10.
“I encourage everyone watching this debate, either live or afterwards, or reading about it in Hansard or in the newspapers, to make time to learn how to perform CPR, if they have not already done so. It could really save a life.
“Importantly, some 80% of cardiac arrests occur in the home, but sadly public defibrillators are used in only about 8% of cases. That might be due to a lack of confidence in how to use them, a lack of understanding, or a lack of knowledge of the location on the part of the individuals or the emergency services. The British Heart Foundation’s ‘The Circuit’ campaign will be vital in drawing together the information about that lifesaving equipment. We need to increase that rate by ensuring that the locations of automated defibrillators are known and by increasing the public’s knowledge of how to use them.
“The private sector has been incredibly accommodating and willing to host defibrillators and ensure that they are maintained, but some of our buildings with the highest footfall, particularly in rural areas, are the public ones. It is important to increase that coverage and do all that we reasonably can, through persuasion or by mandating, to ensure that those lifesaving pieces of tech are in place in our public spaces.”