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High chance work place defibrillators are broken

18 July 2013

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There is a one in ten chance that workplace defibrillators do not work properly, even if it has passed a self test, research has shown. 

Although most defibrillators are checked regularly through self-testing as part of health and safety procedures, research has shown that many would fail to deploy the correct electrical charge at the correct time and in the correct way, if used to treat someone suffering a sudden cardiac arrest. 

According to the British Heart Foundation, with every minute that passes following a cardiac arrest the chances of survival decrease by 14%. 

Automated External Defibrillators (AED) determine whether an irregular heart heat has occurred and deliver a shock if necessary. 

Peter Averill, general manager of medical equipment maintenance company JPen Medical said: “It’s great the AEDs are becoming more widely available throughout the UK, but it would be terrible if a unit failed when it was needed. 

“A total of around 270,000 people suffer a heart attack in the country each year. About a third of this number die before reaching hospital. On a more positive note, early defibrillation can triple a victim’s chance of survival.”