Defibruary – Join us at the Heart of Welsh Communities!

WSA partners St John Cymru run an annual campaign, Defibruary, with the mission of raising awareness of a very important issue…

Every year around 8,000 people in Wales experience a sudden cardiac arrest, but if more people knew what to do in an emergency, more lives could be saved! 1

When someone goes into cardiac arrest it means their heart has stopped beating properly. When this happens, normal breathing also stops. Someone in cardiac arrest will become unresponsive and will need urgent medical attention.

The chances of surviving a cardiac arrest are increased by up to 70% when a defibrillator, also called an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), is used.2

What is a Defibrillator?

For some, the idea of using a defibrillator can be daunting but it needn’t be. A defibrillator is a lifesaving device which can be used to give a shock to the heart during a cardiac arrest.

The device analyses the casualty’s heart rhythm and will give you visual or voice instructions to guide you through each step. Only when it is safe to do, the device will advise a shock.

You can use a defibrillator on children over one year old and adults, including those who are pregnant.

How can you learn to use an AED?

Anyone can use a defibrillator and St John Cymru training ensures you’re more confident to use one in an emergency.

Throughout the month of February they aim to train as many people as possible in using a defibrillator through their campaign, Defibruary.

They usually run courses at our centres for adults, sessions at schools, and events in public spaces where you can learn how to use a defibrillator.

This year is very different, but in order to continue training young people and communities in these lifesaving skills, St John Cymru are providing a range of different sessions from face to face and virtual environments. If you’re unable to attend a session with a trainer, they also have new eLearning courses that you can complete in your own time.

Email training@sjacymru.org.uk for more information about one of these sessions or visit Courses – St John Cymru Wales Training to book your place on one of St John Cymru’s eLearning courses.

Sign up for one of their FREE ‘Public Access Defibrillator Awareness’ training sessions and in just 2 hours, you’ll gain the knowledge and confidence you’ll need to access and correctly use a public access AED. Please note, however, that this course is not suitable for those responsible for using an AED in the workplace; for workplace training their comprehensive three-hour AED training course is recommended – you can book this here.

Where can I locate a public access AED?

A whole host of public locations now have defibrillators available for public use. They’re often found on building walls, in the reception of supermarkets, at schools, railway stations, community centres and local town centres. Defibrillators can be in a cabinet or in a plastic case. Often, there will be a green sign nearby or above where they are stored.

If your workplace or organisation has a defib, please register it with NHS Wales as a Public Access Defibrillator, so that it can provide maximum benefit to your community.

Out on your daily exercise near your home?

Take part in Defibruary! Snap a picture of your nearest defibrillator and share it on social media using #Defibruary so those in your community know where their nearest one is.

How can I help in my community?

By raising just £1,000, you could help provide volunteers with a defibrillator to use when they are called to a cardiac arrest. Or how about fundraising to equip your organisation with one of these lifesaving devices?

Find out more by getting in touch with our fundraising team at fundraising@stjacymru.org.uk

Join us at the heart of Welsh communities!

Sources:

  1. Welsh Ambulance Service Trust
  2. Resuscitation Council (UK)
  3. European Resuscitation Council

For more information, please visit the St John Cymru official website.

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