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27 October 2016, 12:03
It's hoped a new app, showing where the nearest automatic defibrillator is across the Thames Valley will help save lives.
South Central Ambulance Service have released the free app, saying the quicker we find and use a device on someone suffering cardiac arrest, the more likely they are to survive.
The app also guides people through how to carry out effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or chest compressions.
The Save a Life App, which is iOS and Android compatible and free to download, has been developed for SCAS by its partner, O2, and uses GPS functionality to show a user where their closest automatic external defibrillator (AED) is from wherever they are in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire or Oxfordshire.
It has been designed with inbuilt functionality to allow every ambulance trust in the country to upload the location of all their AEDs to it. If they chose to do so, this would, for the first time, provide a national register of every AED in the UK.
As well as storing the details of approximately 2,300 AEDs within the South Central region, the App also contains videos which demonstrate how to carry out CPR on adults, children and infants, along with a myth buster section that dispels the most commonly held misconceptions.
Professor Charles Deakin is Consultant in Cardiac Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Assistant Medical Director for SCAS and a member of the European Resuscitation Council, who provided medical consultancy to the SCAS and O2 development team behind the Save a Life App. He said:
"Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of premature death, but with immediate treatment many lives can be saved. The quicker that the disorganised electrical rhythm ¡V called ventricular fibrillation ¡V that causes a sudden cardiac arrest can be treated by defibrillation, the greater the chance of a successful resuscitation.
"Seconds really do count so by using the Save a Life App, someone can save many seconds, if not minutes, in using a defibrillator on a patient even before an ambulance arrives. This gives the person having the cardiac arrest a greater chance of survival."
You can download the app here: http://www.scas.nhs.uk/news/campaigns/savealife/