Setting new standards for health and safety

VattenfallVattenfall is one of Europe’s largest generators of renewable electricity. 100 per cent owned by the Swedish state it operates wind power turbines in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

Vattenfall is keen to set new standards regarding the Health and Safety in all of its locations for employees and also for contractors and visitors who may attend these sites.

In the UK this commitment has been demonstrated by the company taking the initiative to provide automated external defibrillator (AED) units in each of its site buildings and to provide units in lifting bags which technicians can lift up into the turbine nacelles when undertaking significant work. The aim of providing these AEDs is that anyone on site should have significantly faster access to life-saving equipment should they need it.

Zoll AED PlusSafelincs has supplied Zoll AED Plus defibrillators to Vattenfall, a life-saving piece of equipment which not only delivers a controlled shock to save a patient from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) but provides CPR feedback and instructions to the first aider. The help feature gives audible and visual prompts for the rate and depth of chest compressions being administered during rescue. This AED is a semi-automatic device which can be used by minimally-trained members of staff.

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, 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

Ravensdale School PresentationDespite 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.

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.
Ravensdale School Defibrillator Presentation

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

Ravensdale School Defibrillator Video

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 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. 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 of how to minimise any risks.

Charity campaigns for defibrillators in schools

powerheartAlthough there are as many as 270 sudden cardiac arrests in British schools each year, there is no requirement for defibrillators to be kept on their premises. SADS (Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome) UK is urging the Government to pass a law to ensure schools have these devices in place. A defibrillator, also known as an AED (Automated External Defibrillator), delivers an electric shock to the heart when someone is having a cardiac arrest. Acting quickly is crucially important – every minute without CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) or defibrillation reduces the chances of survival by 10%. SADS founder Anne Jolly said trials of the defibrillators in schools around the UK had proven to be a success. “We’re trying to stop young people’s deaths. We know, if a cardiac arrest happens, the faster a defibrillator is used on a person the better the chances are of them surviving,” she said.

Safelincs supplies fully or semi-automatic external defibrillators with clear visual and audible step-by-step guidance to enable correct use of the equipment even under time pressure. Many of the defibrillators in the range come with a free place on a St John Ambulance defibrillator training course specific to  the model. For example, each fully-automatic Powerheart AED G3 Plus defibrillator purchased comes with a free Responder Kit and a place at a training course. Also available are wall brackets and carry bags as well as additional / replacement products such as batteries and adult and child defibrillator pads.

Defibrillators installed in charity’s offices

powerheart-aedSafelincs has won a tender to install a defibrillator in each of a leading charity’s nine UK offices.

A defibrillator is a machine that delivers an electric shock to the heart when someone is having a cardiac arrest. These machines are also known as  AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators).

Acting quickly when someone is in cardiac arrest and fighting for their life is crucially important.  Around 60,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the UK every year.

“There are no laws in force in the UK requiring employers to provide defibrillators for their workforce, but we are seeing an increasing interest in them from organisations,” said Stuart Baxter, Business Development Manager at Safelincs.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, the British Heart Foundation and Resuscitation Council UK all recommend the deployment of defibrillators in the workplace.

Cardiac Science G3 Defibrillator now in stock

Powerheart-G3Following a failed move of the production plant by Cardiac Science, supply of one of the best known defibrillators in the market was seriously interrupted . The fully automatic Powerheart AED G3 has been unavailable for the last three to four months. Luckily, production has resumed again and the first units are back in the market.

Safelincs has been supplied with a significant number of the units to allow us to satisfy customer demand. The G3 Plus has a 7 year warranty, a minimum 4 year battery life and a 2 year life of the defibrillator pads. Due to these features, it is one of the most popular units in the marketplace. Schools, offices and sports clubs are among the main users of these portable defibrillators. Children’s defib pads are also available for these AEDs.