The View from The Shard becomes home to Europe’s highest defibrillator

VISITORS to the top of Western Europe’s tallest building – The View from The Shard – are now benefitting from London Ambulance Service’s Shockingly Easy campaign which is seeing more defibrillators placed in public places and businesses across London.

A defibrillator – which delivers an electric shock to restart a person’s heart if they have a cardiac arrest – has been installed within The View at the top of the Shard, over 240 metres above the ground.

London Ambulance Service Chairman Richard Hunt CBE said: “When you have a cardiac arrest, your heart stops beating and you are clinically dead. Every second counts which is why we want more public-access defibrillators to help us save more lives in London.”

The new defibrillator is part of London Ambulance Service’s Shockingly Easy campaign to get at least 1,000 extra defibrillators in shops, businesses, gyms and high footfall areas across London.

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. When someone goes into cardiac arrest, it is the first three or four minutes that are crucial – that is when they need to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR – chest compressions and rescue breaths) and defibrillation.

Mr Sandy Clark, Operations Director from The View from The Shard said: “We are proud to be the home of Europe’s highest defibrillator, The View from The Shard welcomed one million guests within our first year, and we know that having this equipment and properly trained staff to use it could help us save a life in the future.

“We urge every business in London to get a defibrillator installed. If we can install one at one of the highest points in Europe, then anyone can do it!”

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

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Notes to editors

– Journalists and photographers are invited to attend the photo call at 9am on 4 September 2014 at The View from The Shard. For more information, pictures or interview requests please contact London Ambulance Service’s communications department on 020 7783 2286.

Interesting facts

London Ambulance Service’s Shockingly Easy campaign provides support and 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

– There are around 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 cardiac arrest is different to a heart attack which 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.

– The 28 per cent of people surviving an out of hospital cardiac arrest is based on the Utstein survival rate where patients meet the following criteria:

  • Their cardiac arrest is witnessed by a bystander
  • The reason their heart has stopped is cardiac related e.g. heart attack rather than road traffic collision
  • Their heart is in a shockable rhythm

· London Ambulance Service’s accreditation scheme ensures that organisations know how to correctly use, store and maintain a defibrillator.