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Partnership sees Defibrillators installed in Leisure Centres

2nd July 2014

Phase one of a partnership between British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland, High Life Highland and The Scottish Ambulance Service came to fruition today with the installation of 19 Defibrillators across the network of High Life Highland leisure centres.

BHF Scotland, the nation's heart charity, had been looking to identify locations where a community defibrillator could be valuable, for example remote communities and urban venues with high footfall or where clusters of cardiac arrests have previously occurred.

The 19 defibrillators will also be mapped by ambulance staff so call handlers can direct people to the nearest one while patients wait for paramedics to arrive.

Staff members have received training on how to use the equipment as part of the agreement and will be able to carry out defibrillation if required from today.

For every minute that passes without defibrillation chances of survival decrease by 10 per cent. Research shows that applying a controlled shock within five minutes of collapse provides the best possible chances of survival.

High Life Highland Chair Laurence Young said "Every second counts when someone's heart goes into cardiac arrest and having access to a defibrillator can mean the difference between life and death. We are pleased that the partnership with BHF Scotland and The Scottish Ambulance Service has enabled us to provide Defibrillators at our leisure centres across the Highlands. We are now looking at where else we might locate the units."

Marjory Burns, Director at BHF Scotland, said: "Many people could be saved if more defibrillators were available in public places and people informed about how they fit into the chain of survival. We're delighted to have partnered with High Life Highland to make defibrillators available in locations where they could really make a life-saving difference to someone having a cardiac arrest."

Kenny Freeburn, Head of Community Resilience, Scottish Ambulance Service, said: “Public access defibrillators make a positive contribution to safer and sustainable communities around the country. While we have world class ambulance response times in Scotland, we know that in cardiac cases every second counts and that equipping communities with basic lifesaving skills and equipment will further improve survival rates.”

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