300 free defibrillators are being offered to Sports Clubs. To avail of this offer, visit the Sport NI Webpage and fill out the registration survey.
The Department for Communities and Sport Northern Ireland have launched a new initiative to provide life-saving defibrillators to sports clubs and organisations. The intended purpose is to increase the number of Automated External Defibrillator (AED) devices available in community settings. Almost 300 AED devices will be distributed amongst sporting clubs/organisations as part of the initiative. With these additional devices it is envisaged that Public Access Defibrillation will increase, supporting the Department of Health’s Community Resuscitation Strategy.
The initiative will also include a mapping exercise conducted in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service to chart AEDs available at Sports Clubs across Northern Ireland. Approximately 1,400 Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrests (OHCAs) take place in Northern Ireland per annum, with an OHCA victim’s chances of survival decreasing by around 10% with each passing minute. International research has shown that where an AED device is available, victims are defibrillated much sooner and have a better chance of survival.
Modern defibrillator devices are automated, providing visual prompts and audible instructions for operators. They also monitor vital signs and administer shocks only if required. As such, they can be used by lay persons in emergencies before the ambulance service arrives – a critical time period for OHCA victims. Defibrillation is one of the “Chain of Survival” series of actions that, when put into motion, reduce the mortality associated with cardiac arrest – more information on the other actions in the Chain of Survival can be found in the accompanying Guidance Notes.