‘Safe and easy’ way to save lives on World Heart Day

29 September 2011

The London Ambulance Service has made an online video to teach people how to save lives with a defibrillator to celebrate World Heart Day on Friday 30 September.

We have prepared a text transcript for the video for site visitors who are visually or hearing impaired

The film, ‘Shockingly easy’, features Paramedic Karen Walling showing what to do if you see someone suffer a cardiac arrest, including how to shock their heart to get it started again.

The film was made in the Imperial War Museum, Kennington, where one of the 600 public-access defibrillators in London is kept.

People who work in places like museums and train stations are trained to use public-access defibrillators while an ambulance is on the way.

Cardiac arrest victims need treatment with a defibrillator as soon as possible to give them the best chance of survival.

Last year eight of the 25 patients treated with public-access defibrillators survived (32 per cent). This survival rate is considerably higher than the rest of London (22.8 per cent). 

Paramedic Karen Walling said: “We want to show people that defibrillators are really safe and easy to use, and that anyone can save lives with them.

“If you see someone collapse and stop breathing, you should call 999 for an ambulance straight away. If you’re in a public place, like a museum or train station, ask people who work there if they have a defibrillator. 

“Last year over 250 people survived an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in London, more people than ever before, but bystanders only step in to help a third of time before ambulance staff arrive.

“If more people were willing to step in and help, more people would survive.”

Karen is sponsored by the British Heart Foundation to raise awareness of learning how to save lives if someone suffers a cardiac arrest.

Notes to editors:

  • For further information about the London Ambulance Service or this news release please contact the communications department on 020 7783 2286. 
  • For a transcript of the video please email communications@londonambulance.nhs.uk
  • Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ldn_ambulance or find us on facebook at www.facebook.com/londonambulanceservice
  • Public-access defibrillators
    - There are around 600 public-access defibrillators in places such as train stations, airports, tourist attractions, shopping centres and leisure centres across London.
    - Many of the defibrillators were funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the British Heart Foundation.
    - People who work in places with public-access defibrillators are trained to use them while an ambulance is on the way.

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