YAS Defib Hunt Will Save More Lives

14 November 2018

A Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) campaign has helped to identify 22 life-saving defibrillators that can now be used to help more patients in cardiac arrest.

Throughout October, members of the public were urged to post social media selfies with the kit when they were out and about as part of the YAS Defib Hunt.

Some defibrillators are bought with the best of intentions but are not registered with YAS. It is essential that the Trust knows the locations of all defibrillators so staff in the Emergency Operations Centre can direct 999 callers to them in the event of a patient suffering a cardiac arrest nearby.

The YAS Defib Hunt identified 101 defibrillators across Yorkshire, 22 of which were unknown to the Trust so they will now be added to the YAS database to help save the lives of patients in the future.

Paul Stevens, Head of Community Resilience for YAS, said: “We are delighted with the response from the general public who appreciate the importance of the life-saving equipment. Out of the 101 defibrillators flagged to us, we didn’t know about 22 of them so it’s definitely been worth doing! These will now be added to our system so we can ensure they are put to good use in the event of someone suffering a cardiac arrest.”

The campaign was run to mark Shoctober - a national initiative to raise awareness about the importance of defibrillators - and tied in with Restart a Heart Day when YAS provided cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training to a total of 29,768 secondary school children on Tuesday 16 October 2018. A cardiac arrest occurs when a person’s heart stops pumping blood around their body and to their brain. The earlier a patient can receive CPR and a shock from a defibrillator, the greater their chance of survival.

Defibrillators are easy to use, easy to carry, provide audible instructions to the user and will not deliver a shock unless it is required. No training is required to use the equipment.

There are now 3,144 defibrillators across Yorkshire – an increase of 29% from this time last year – and they are often in yellow or green cabinets in high footfall areas, or mounted on the wall in places like leisure centres, schools, railway stations, bars and restaurants.

YAS is working with community groups and charities, including the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charity, to encourage the introduction of as many community Public Access Defibrillators (cPADs) across Yorkshire as possible.

If you are considering buying a defibrillator for your community, please contact our Community Resilience Department in the first instance by emailing Community Defibrillation Co-ordinator Kiri Frampton, email kiri.frampton@nhs.net or phone 07464 493852.

It’s never too late to register a defibrillator. Just email exact details of the location to yas.aed@nhs.net

Produced by: Corporate Communications Department