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Burton supermarket to install device to help save lives

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 06, 2014

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A SUPERMARKET is set to install a lifesaving defibrillator in store and train all its staff how to use it.

Bosses at Asda, off Orchard Street, in Burton, revealed that it had reached an agreement with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to install a device at the site by the end of the year.

It is hoped the move will significantly increase survival rates for people suffering a cardiac arrest outside of hospital, with survival rates currently at about 10 per cent.

Dawn Clements, Asda’s head of community, said: “It can take a number of minutes for an ambulance to reach one of our stores in response to an emergency like a cardiac arrest.

“The commitment we’re making could cut the amount of time a cardiac arrest sufferer has to wait for lifesaving defibrillation.”

The BHF estimates that 60,000 cardiac arrests happen out of hospital every year across the UK. A cardiac arrest is commonly caused when a person has a problem with their heart.

A defibrillator can be used by any member of the public to deliver an electric shock to the heart when someone is having a cardiac arrest and could boost the 10 per cent survival rate significantly.

Once the defibrillator box is opened, a recorded voice gives easy instructions on where to place pads on a person’s chest. Users then simply press a large button to start electrical shocks to the person’s heart.

The defibrillator will not work unless the person is having a cardiac arrest.

Research has shown that when somebody is having a cardiac arrest, every minute of delay in resuscitation and defibrillation reduces their chance of survival.

BHF chief executive Simon Gillespie said: “Cardiac arrest survival rates in the UK are astonishingly low, but Asda’s bold commitment to become the first large retailer to have CPR-trained staff and public access defibrillators in store will be instrumental in helping communities up and down the country access the life-saving support they need in an emergency.

“This really could mean the difference between life and death for someone having a cardiac arrest while doing something as ordinary as shopping.”

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