Ambulance crews will be teaching Croydon shoppers how to save a life with a defibrillator on Wednesday (16 July) at the Whitgift shopping centre.
On the first anniversary of Croydon becoming a Heart Town, Croydon Council and Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have joined forces with the London Ambulance Service’s Shockingly Easy campaign to raise awareness of the importance of public and workplace defibrillators to help save local lives.
Medics with resuscitation dummies and defibrillators will be showing shoppers how they can become heroes and save someone’s life in five minutes.
The Service’s Chairman Richard Hunt CBE said: “Our latest data shows that there were 457 out of hospital cardiac arrests in Croydon in a year and 43 of these occurred in the street, and locations like workplaces, gyms, shops, public transport and places of worship.”
“Around 28 per cent of people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest but, where there is a defibrillator and someone trained to use it, the chance of survival can increase to 80 per cent.”
The council’s offices at Bernard Weatherill House are already equipped with London Ambulance Service accredited defibrillators and it is hoped other organisations in Croydon will follow suit.
As a Heart Town, the council has committed to a five year programme to raise awareness of and tackle coronary heart disease.
Councillor Louisa Woodley, cabinet member for people and communities, said: “When someone has a cardiac arrest, every second counts.
“Those with defibrillators close to hand, such as shops in a busy town centre like Croydon, could be life savers.
“That is why it is vital that shops and businesses sign up to this campaign. With a small bit of effort, they could make a huge difference.”
She added: “We’d also like to thank the Whitgift shopping centre for supporting this really important cause.”
The London Ambulance Service’s Shockingly Easy campaign aims to get at least 1,000 extra defibrillators in shops, businesses, gyms and high footfall areas across London.
For more information on how to get a defibrillator for your organisation and training on how to use it call the Shockingly Easy campaign on 020 7783 2366 or visit www.londonambulance.nhs.uk/shockinglyeasy
Notes to editors
- The event will begin at 9am on 16 July in the Croydon Whitgift shopping centre.
- There will be a photo opportunity at 12pm with Croydon Councillor Louisa Woodley and the London Ambulance Service’s resuscitation team.
- To attend the event, photo call or to interview someone from the London Ambulance Service or for further information about the Shockingly Easy campaign, please contact the Service’s communications department on 020 7783 2286
- The latest cardiac arrest data for Croydon refers to 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013
- 28 per cent of people surviving an out of hospital cardiac arrest is based on the Utstein survival rate
- The Shockingly Easy campaign provides advice to organisations on:
- Buying and installing a defibrillator
- Training staff on how to use a defibrillator
- How to maintain their defibrillators and to become accredited with the London Ambulance Service
- Dispelling myths on defibrillators
- The Shockingly Easy accreditation scheme ensures that organisations know how to correctly use, store and maintain a defibrillator to give them peace of mind.
- A defibrillator is a machine that delivers an electric shock to the heart to restart it.
- There are over 10,000 cardiac arrests every year in London – that is 27 a day.
- A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops pumping blood around the body, and can be a result of heart attack, choking or trauma.
- A heart attack happens when an artery becomes obstructed, restricting the flow of blood to the heart. The most common sign of a heart attack is chest pain, though there are other symptoms. Left untreated it can lead to a cardiac arrest, which is when the heart stops beating.
- NHS Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group (Croydon CCG) is a membership organisation formed of all 60 GP practices in the borough of Croydon. It is responsible for commissioning (buying) healthcare services for the borough’s residents, including services in hospitals and the community, as well as mental health services. Their vision is to improve local health services and empower patients and communities to take more responsibility for improving their health.