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How can you respond to a cardiac arrest in Cork?

Community defibrillators in Cork increase survival chances for cardiac arrest.

With the welcome news that a new defibrillator has been installed in the Cork suburb of Gurranabraher in summer 2019, we wanted to highlight the work in our city to increase survival rates for local people in cardiac arrest. In this article, we highlight where you can find the defibrillators located around Cork, why they are important and how we can all take positive action in the event that somebody nearby has a cardiac arrest.


What are defibrillators?

A defibrillator (also known as an AED) is a life-saving piece of equipment that delivers a high-energy electric shock to the heart of a person in cardiac arrest. Called defibrillation, the electric shock is an essential step in trying to save the life of someone in a state of cardiac arrest.

Increasingly, publicly accessible defibrillators (PAD’s) are being installed in more locations around Cork city and the county. PAD’s can be used by anyone.


Why are defibrillators important?

Defibrillators are life-saving pieces of equipment installed around Cork and Ireland, to increase the survival chances of a person in cardiac arrest.

At the presentation of the newly installed Gurranabraher Defibrillator, Garda David O’Donoghue announced –

“Every minute someone is in cardiac arrest, the survival rate decreases by 10%.

“In recent years there has been an increase of availability in Defibrillators in local communities with a number of them in businesses in our own locality,” Mr O’Donoghue added.


Can you use a defibrillator in an emergency?

Anyone can use a defibrillator; you don’t need to have special training to use them. Clear instructions on how to attach the pads are provided on publicly accessible defibrillators. When you’ve attached the pads, the equipment will assess the heart rhythm. You will only be instructed to deliver a shock if the defibrillator determines that a shock is needed.

In surveys by the British Heart Foundation, three quarters of people said that they would not be confident enough to act if they saw someone having a cardiac arrest.

In the case of a suspected cardiac arrest, your first step should be to call 112 or 999 and ask for an ambulance.


4 Steps you can take if someone is in cardiac arrest

Unfortunately, cardiac arrest can happen to anyone without warning. If cardiac arrest happens to somebody nearby, these four steps can give them the best chance of surviving.

If someone has a cardiac arrest –

  1. Call 112 or 999
  2. Start CPR
  3. Ask someone to bring a defibrillator, if there’s one nearby
  4. Turn the defibrillator on and follow the instructions


Where can I find a defibrillator in Cork?

Defibrillators that anyone can use are installed in a growing number of locations around Cork. Most commonly, they are located in workplaces and public spaces including the city centre, airport, community centres, garda stations and in hospitals.

As of October 2018, there are 10 publicly accessible defibrillators installed in Cork city centre. Cork Lions Club are working on building a map which shows all of the publicly accessible 24-hour AED’s in the city – find Cork city centre defibrillators.

East Cork Rapid Response also provide a map showing the nearest AED defibrillators in Cork.


Why we need more defibrillators in Cork

To help someone in cardiac arrest, a defibrillator needs to be found as quickly as possible. Every extra minute that it takes for a defibrillator to get to someone and deliver a shock, their chances of survival are reduced by up to 10%.


Where can I find out more?

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