The Importance of Defibrillators at Sports Clubs, Facilities and Gyms

With only a small percentage of sports clubs and gyms having a defibrillator on site, is it an important addition to your sports facility’s first aid provision? We look at the risk posed by cardiac arrest and the life saving potential of defibrillators at sports clubs, gyms or sports centres.

Cardiac arrest at the gym
Having a defibrillator at your local gym could save a life

Why are defibrillators important for sporting clubs or gyms?

Let’s look at the facts:

  • Research shows that over 90% of sudden cardiac arrests in young athletes happen either during or immediately after exercise.
  • The average age of people suffering from a cardiac arrest is between 35 and 44. But, some younger sportspeople may have an undiagnosed heart condition.
  • Apart from injuries that are directly related to the sport being played, cardiac arrest is the most common cause of death in young sports people.

Having an AED close at hand can make all the difference. Research shows that using an AED within 3 to 5 minutes of a cardiac arrest can mean survival rates are as high as 50-70%. Many lives have been saved during sporting activities by having an AED present at the time of cardiac arrest. Parkrun’s collection of stories from cardiac arrest victims highlights the importance of having an AED close by.

Young athlete cardiac arrest
Undiagnosed heart conditions can lead to cardiac arrest in young athletes

Is it a legal requirement for sports clubs or sports centres to have a defibrillator?

Whilst it is not currently a legal requirement in the UK for sports facilities to provide an AED, it is a valuable addition to the wellbeing and protection of sports players, club members and the local community.

Choosing a defibrillator for sports clubs and gyms

Anyone can use an automatic defibrillator – no training is required. They automatically deliver the shock to the heart. It is not possible to make matters worse if they are not used correctly.

Some defibrillators like the Heartsine 360P give better protection from water which may be a consideration if they are likely to be used outside. Look out for the AEDs IP rating which shows the level of protection from dust and water.

Heartsine 360P defibrillator for sports clubs and events
Heatsine 360P Fully Automatic Defibrillator with protective carry case

Consider the location for your AED. It should be easy to find in an emergency so it can be accessed as quickly as possible. The location will also determine whether you need to purchase an external defibrillator cabinet or an internal defibrillator cabinet. If you are locating the AED outside or somewhere like a football clubhouse where the temperature may drop below 8⁰C, then an external storage cabinet is required. These cabinets have integral heating to ensure the defibrillator stays at the optimum temperature.  Because of the heating element, outdoor cabinets need to be installed by an electrician. Internal cabinets are simpler to install, just requiring screwing or bolting into the wall.

For events like Parkrun, marathons or large tournaments, an AED with a portable protective carry case is likely to be a good option. Many defibrillators come with carry cases, but they can also be purchased separately.

Maintaining your defibrillator

Community clubs, sports centres and gyms may be concerned about providing a defibrillator because of the maintenance requirements. Defibrillators self-test on a regular basis. They will flag up any issues, so maintenance of a defibrillator is not as daunting as it may first appear. One of the main things to look out for is expiry dates for pads and batteries.

Set up a regular visual inspection procedure and designate member(s) to carry it out. Use our free defibrillator maintenance checklist to monitor and record inspections.

Any AED will require replacement pads and batteries as these have an expiry date which varies depending on the manufacturer. Some AEDS such as Zoll AED 3 have a 5 year pad and battery life plus if you purchase a defibrillator from Safelincs, you can receive free replacement pads

For complete peace of mind or if there is no one to carry out a visual inspection at your sports facility, we can organise a defibrillator inspection from one of our trained engineers as often as you like.

Defibrillator cost vs benefit

Although the initial outlay for a defibrillator can seem like a lot for a community organisation or sports facility, the potential for being able to offer life-saving treatment makes it a worthy investment. Defibrillators have relatively low maintenance costs and no requirement for training (for a fully automatic defibrillator). So, after the initial installation, AEDs can provide a service to the members and community without having high-cost implications. An important and worthwhile investment!

Mel Saunders

Marketing Designer

Mel joined our team at the start of 2020. She creates our marketing materials and manages our social media accounts.

Can Children Use Defibrillators?

children-giving-cprWe are frequently asked by our customers at what age a child can effectively use a defibrillator without supervision. After carrying out some research and interviewing a number of specialists, as well as reading relevant studies, we created an easy to understand article which gives some reasonable recommendations. While children as young as 11 to 12 can use a modern defibrillator, a child is usually around 13 to 14 years old before they can provide efficient CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Read the full article.

If you have any questions about defibrillators or require replacement electrodes, just call 0800 612 6537 and our friendly staff will be happy to help.

Bracknell Forest wins heart award

bracknellThe provision of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), supplied by Safelincs, across its region, has helped Berkshire council, Bracknell Forest, win the Public Sector Organisation of the Year Award in the annual Heart Safe Awards.

The council operates a Members Initiative Fund that allows Bracknell Forest councillors to spend up to £15,000, within their wards, supporting local groups and projects that make a difference to their local community. Councillors canvassed local opinion and found there was a requirement for AEDs – devices that can stabilise the heart rhythms of a person having a cardiac arrest. They enable lay responders or bystanders to use them successfully with little or no training.

Safelincs has now installed over 50 of these devices in public areas such as community centres, schools and small retailers – notably those that have a post office counter. These are delivered together with cabinets where required. Such has been the success of the project that a neighbouring council is looking at adopting a similar scheme.

Raising Awareness of Heart Rhythm Week

Arrhythmia AssociationHeart Rhythm Week is a yearly event designed to raise awareness of how to detect, protect and correct heart rhythm disorders. Taking place this year from the 1st until the 7th of June 2015, we support this vital awareness week, helping to increase public awareness and increase the number of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) available in communities.

Would you know what to do if you witnessed someone having a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)? A survey carried out by the Arrhythmia Alliance in 2013 showed that over half of the UK’s population underestimate the importance of swift first aid for people suffering cardiac arrest. The significance of defibrillators as first aid equipment is also highlighted by some stark statistics comparing survival rates relative to the available treatment.

The chances of survival for people suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest can range from an average of just 9% for those attended to by CPR alone, to 74% for people treated by a defibrillator within 5 minutes. This statistic is a powerful indicator of the difference a readily available defibrillator can make.

Safelincs underpinned its commitment to raising awareness of this issue by running a competition for schools to win a defibrillator. We invited schools across the country to submit a short video demonstrating the benefits of having a defibrillator in their school. The winning entrant was Ravensdale Junior School, and we took great pride in presenting them with a defibrillator earlier this year. Watch their winning entry here.

For further information about defibrillators, please visit the defibrillator section on our website.

Safelincs helped UK Aid respond to Ebola crisis

World Health Organisation Ebola CrisisIn October and November 2014 Safelincs reacted quickly to requests from the Department for International Aid, to provide safety equipment for shipment to West Africa as part of the UK Aid response to the Ebola crisis.
Defibrillators, powder fire extinguishers, fire bells, mini megaphones and smoke alarms formed two large consignments shipped within days of receiving the requests with special transport directly to Cotswold Airport to meet aircraft for onward transit to Africa, where they were utilised in new health centres built by Britain to save those suffering from this deadly virus. All the items were shipped on fumigated wooden pallets to ensure adherence to export rules.

Harry Dewick-Eisele, managing director, Safelincs commented: “We are pleased that we were able to support the UK response to the situation in West Africa. Our staff pulled out all the stops to ensure that all items, together with the required paperwork were delivered within the very demanding time limit and in compliance with the export regulations.”

The outbreak of the Ebola virus primarily affects three countries in West Africa: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Around 21,000 cases and 8,400 deaths have been reported globally by the World Health Organisation. Since the strong commitment by the international community started in earnest, the rate of new infections has reduced significantly but the virus still remains a major threat.

Defibrillators in schools

Despite there being around 270 children per year who die after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest at school there are only 80 out of the approximate 30,000 schools in the country that have a defibrillator on site.

As part of a drive to increase awareness and to inform schools of the pending legislative changes that are coming into force, we ran a competition for schools to win a defibrillator.

The competition entries submitted a short video demonstrating the benefits of having a defibrillator at their school. The entries were judged on message, technique and originality.

Ravensdale School Defibrillator Presentation

There was an unbelievable number of entries into the competition, making judging very hard. Winners were Ravensdale Junior School, Mickelover, Derby and runners up were Penwortham Priory Academy, Preston. Here is a photo of the presentation of the defibrillator to Ravensdale Junior School.

The video and more information about defibrillators in schools can be viewed on our defibrillator competition information page. 

Ravensdale School Defibrillator Video

New Defibrillator Website Launched

After months of preparation, Safelincs has launched a specialist defibrillator portal called TheDefibPad. This new portal gives customers access to world leading brands and through our search refining system, makes selecting the best defibrillator for each application an easy and straight forward process. Our product ranges include semi and fully automatic defibs, defib cabinets, defibrillator training devices, first aid supplies and all replacement items such as batteries and pads.

We like to stand out from the rest and unlike most suppliers of defibs we include FREE delivery on all orders, FREE replacement pads after use and FREE reminder services to let you know when it is time to replace your batteries and pads.

If you would like to know more about our defib range, please call our customer care team on 0800 612 6304 or email support@thedefibpad.co.uk

The Defib Pad

Cardiac Science Finally Brings Out The New Powerheart G5 Defibrillator

Cardiac Science Powerheart G5 AEDAfter about a year delay, Cardiac Science has finally started delivering the new G5 defibrillator to replace, over time, the very successful G3 model. The Powerheart G3 had for a long time been the best selling of all our defibrillators.

The New G5

With an impressive 8 year warranty, Rescue Ready self-test technology and real-time CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) feedback for invaluable guidance, it’s understandable why the Powerheart G5 AED CPRD defibrillator is regarded as the next generation of defibrillation equipment.

Whether you are a healthcare professional or someone with minimal first aid training, responding to a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can be a daunting experience. The Powerheart G5 offers ease of use as well as voice and text prompts, helping to guide and calm the rescuer throughout the defibrillation process.

Featuring an integrated sensor device, the G5 assesses the CPR performance given by the rescuer and provides real-time feedback to ensure the correct compression depth and rhythm is achieved. This innovative technology also extends to assessing the patient’s therapy needs, delivering a shock at the necessary energy level, and automatically detecting when paediatric pads are in use. This defibrillator coaches and works with you to give the victim the best chances of survival.

Defibrillators are life-saving devices and it is important that they remain in full working order at all times. To assist with this, the G5 has ‘Rescue Ready’ self check technology, performing regular tests on all main AED components including the battery, hardware, software and pads and provides visible green LED confirmation that the G5 has passed these tests.

Safelincs is committed to providing our customers with the best possible service and value for money. For further information on the Cardiac Science range, please contact our Customer Service Team on: 0800 612 6537

Research highlights need for more defibrillators in public places

Despite several campaigns to increase their numbers, the restricted availability of automatic external defibrillators (AED), and poor understanding of how to use them, is contributing to the stubbornly high number of deaths from heart attacks occurring outside hospitals, a recent study suggests. The machines work by giving an electric shock to the heart to restore its rhythm.

The research was carried out in Hampshire by the University of Southampton and South Central Ambulance Service and is published in the online journal Heart. It set out to discover how available external defibrillators are, given the push for their deployment in public places, such as shopping centres and train stations, over the past decade.

During the study period of one year, 673 known PADs (public access defibrillators) were located in 278 Hampshire locations. Researchers found that, out of 1,035 emergency calls, the caller could access a defibrillator in only 44 cases. The caller was actually able to use the defibrillator in only 18 cases, and the report’s authors said that more education was needed to give bystanders the confidence to use the machines, which can save the lives of patients while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

The research highlighted the need for more defibrillators in public places with doctors saying they should be as common as fire extinguishers.

The type of AED is essential when selecting defibrillators suitable for public use where no prior training is likely to be given. Fully automated defibrillators will make the use of the defibrillator as easy as possible. The units not only offer spoken and visual indicators about each step, they also automatically analyse the heart rhythm and will automatically select the correct level of shock for the person with the heart attack.

AED-filter

Helpful Overview Guides for Defibrillators

Purchasing defibrillators for schools, sports clubs and businesses can be a challenge. What are semi-automatic and fully-automatic defibrillators and which of these are suitable for non-professional staff? When should a defibrillator be applied? What training is required and how do we look after the defibrillators’ maintenance?

To help with these questions we have created a thorough but easy-to-read guide ‘Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) – a guide to their purpose, design and maintenance’.

Some of our customers have also been concerned about their legal obligations once they have installed a defibrillator. Could an AED cause harm to a person being resuscitated? Could there be litigation if a defibrillator should be used incorrectly?

Again, we have tried to answer these questions in a helpful and accessible manner in our guide ‘The use of automated external defibrillators: some health and safety / legal considerations’.

This guide will help you put your concerns in perspective and offers some easy steps with regards to minimising risks.