THE city council is working with a local charity and ambulance service to make sure life-saving defibrillators are registered on a national database.
Leicester City Council has defibrillators located in its parks and open spaces; and at other locations, including some of its leisure centres, children’s centres and other community buildings. The council is joining the call for all defibrillators to be registered on The Circuit, a national defibrillator network, which provides a national overview of where defibrillators can be found.
Anyone who is responsible for a defibrillator can easily register it on The Circuit here: www.thecircuit.uk
The aim of the network is to make sure emergency services know where defibrillators are, so that they can maximise their use and help to save lives.
Together with local heart charity The Joe Humphries Memorial Trust and East Midlands Ambulance Service, the council is working to raise awareness of The Circuit so that other organisations – such as local community groups, businesses and grassroots sports clubs – will also register their defibrillators.
Assistant city mayor for public health Cllr Vi Dempster said: “If someone has a cardiac arrest, you can dial 999 and get instructions from the operator on how to use a nearby defibrillator. But at the moment, some defibrillators may never get used because emergency services don’t know where they are or how to access them. This can cost lives.
“We want to make it easier for ambulance services to direct bystanders to their local defibrillator during a cardiac arrest to help save many lives in the coming years.”
There are more than 60,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year, of which 30,000 are witnessed. Of these witnessed cardiac arrests, fewer than one in 10 people survive. Every minute that passes without CPR or defibrillation reduces the chances of survival, but immediate CPR and defibrillation can increase the chance of survival to more than 50%.
The Circuit will ensure that whenever and wherever a cardiac arrest happens, the people on the scene can get to the nearest working defibrillator quickly. Whether it’s in a local pub, shopping centre or office - every defibrillator matters.
Dr Michael Ferguson from the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust said: “When someone collapses in cardiac arrest, every second counts. You can buy vital time by starting CPR but getting hold of, and using, a defibrillator could save their life.
“If a defibrillator is not registered with the emergency services on The Circuit, then no-one will know where to look. This is beyond frustrating, it could cost someone their life - and that person might just be you, or someone you know.”
Michael Barnett-Connolly, head of community response, collaboration and engagement at East Midlands Ambulance Service said: “East Midlands Ambulance Service successfully connected to The Circuit in 2020, and since then we have been actively encouraging defibrillator guardians to register and claim their defibrillator on the database.
“Survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are concerningly low, and I encourage defibrillator guardians to register their defibrillators on The Circuit and raise awareness about the importance of their use in the chain of survival. The more defibrillators we have rescue-ready and captured on The Circuit across the East Midlands, the more lives we will save in our communities.”
The local awareness-raising campaign around The Circuit has been timed to coincide with the annual SADS Awareness Week, starting 3 October, run by the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust.
During the week, the local charity will once again remind and educate healthcare professionals, sports-related professionals and parents and carers of young people about the dangers of lethal undiagnosed heart conditions like Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome – SADS.
Over the past 10 years, the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust has been working closely with schools, colleges, universities, sports clubs and community groups to raise awareness of SADS and to ensure more people have key CPR skills and know how to use a defibrillator. The charity has provided free life-saving training and funds to ensure more publicly-accessible defibrillators are available within communities.
Find out more about the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust and SADS Week here: https://www.jhmt.org.uk/
Find out more about the city council’s public health work at www.leicester.gov.uk/publichealth
Notes to editors
- In the UK, every 20 minutes, somebody, somewhere will see someone collapse from a cardiac arrest
- If nothing gets done, then only 1 in 10 will live – that’s 70 deaths every day
- It’s not just older people whose heart can stop – 12 people under the age of 35 die from a cardiac arrest every week
- If you learn how to start CPR and can get access to a defibrillator, the survival rate can go up from 10% to 50%