National Heart Rhythm Charity supplies builders with life-saving equipment across ten construction sites
Arrhythmia Alliance have partnered with Bewley Homes to equip 10 construction sites with life-saving defibrillators making this a first of its kind in the UK.
The arrival of the defibrillators comes at a time when there are more than 30,000 sudden cardiac arrests (SCA) in the UK outside hospital every year with up to 89% of these in men.
Reports show immediate treatment of someone suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest boosts survival rates dramatically. Without immediate assistance the survival rate is less than 6% but with prompt attention and use of a defibrillator this can rise to 70%.
“These statistics are pretty shocking so anything we can do to protect our staff is vitally important,” said Andrew Brooks, Managing Director at Bewley Homes. Andrew added: “Our construction workers and sub-contractors are predominantly men who are, according to statistics, likely to suffer a sudden cardiac arrest. While we hope none of the defibrillators will ever be used, we know that by having them on site we can ensure our staff will have the best treatment available immediately.”
Andrew added: “The European Championships this summer brought home that this can happen to anyone – even super fit, professional footballers, as in the case of Christian Eriksen and previously Fabrice Muamba.”
The defibrillators were supplied by Arrhythmia Alliance as part of their Defibs Save Lives campaign which promotes the necessity for publicly accessible defibrillators to ensure communities are heart safe. An education-based advocacy campaign, Defibs Save Lives raises awareness, provides information and support and most importantly help place defibrillators nationally. This critical work equips communities with the education, tools and resources necessary to implement the chain of survival during sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
Matt Jenkins, Health and Safety Manager at Bewley, said it was important for the housebuilder to be proactive in protecting its workforce. He added: “The health and safety of all our staff is an integral part of being a responsible employer and these portable defibrillators on site clearly demonstrates that we are doing everything possible to ensure our staff have access to potentially life-saving equipment.
“We have chosen lightweight portable devices which can quickly and easily be deployed on our building sites if they are needed.”
Founder of Arrhythmia Alliance, Trudie Lobban, MBE, said, “It is so important that defibrillators become as common as fire extinguishers and smoke alarms to help save lives from sudden cardiac arrest. When a potentially fatal heart rhythm triggers a SCA the only chance of survival is to use a defibrillator to shock the heart back into its normal rhythm. CPR alone provides 9% chance of survival, CPR + the use of a defibrillator (AED) increases the chance of survival to almost 70%.
Every second counts so the quicker a defibrillator can be used the greater the chance of the person surviving. Bewley Homes has demonstrated the need to safeguard its employees by providing these life-saving devices across its development sites. We hope others will follow where they lead. We are proud to partner with them to initiate this innovative and ground-breaking initiative. After all, anyone of any age can suffer a sudden cardiac arrest without warning and anyone of any age can use a defibrillator to save a life,” added Trudie.