DEFIBRILLATOR UNITS FOR LEWISHAM BOROUGH
Following a successful trial in four London boroughs – Enfield, Croydon, Havering and Ealing – the London Ambulance Service (LAS) and Metropolitan Police Service have extended an initiative which sees police officers responding alongside ambulance crews to life-threatening emergencies in London.
From Monday 7th August three boroughs have joined 10 other boroughs – including Bromley – as part of the initiative.
Lewisham will receive 20 units; Barnet will receive 26 units and Hounslow 22.
Lambeth will be getting defibrillator units early next month.
In London, the average cardiac survival rate is just nine per cent. At Heathrow, the survival rate is 75 per cent thanks to the availability of so many Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and availability of staff and emergency services personnel to use them effectively.
“Working together, the cardiac survival rate will increase and more lives will be saved” said a police spokesperson..
Chris Hartley-Sharpe, head of first responders at London Ambulance Service, says: “Every second counts when someone is in cardiac arrest.
“The only way to restart a heart is with a defibrillator, so the sooner one arrives with someone trained to use it, the better the outcome for the patient.
“While we will always send an ambulance response as a priority, by working together with the police service we can ensure patients in cardiac arrest receive vital treatment as quickly as possible.”
As part of the initiative, police officers equipped with defibrillators, who are available to respond, will be alerted to a potential cardiac arrest at the same time as ambulance crews, which means that if they reach the patient first, or are already on scene, they can begin providing life-saving treatment until a skilled clinician arrives.
Based on results from the pilot, it is estimated the scheme could save dozens of lives each year.
Boroughs with Defib units:
Barking & Dagenham
21 Aug: Brent, Haringey, Kingston Upon Thames
4 Sept: Harrow, Lambeth, Bexley
18 Sept: Hammersmith and Fulham, Greenwich, Richmond Upon Thames
2 October: Kensington and Chelsea, hackney, Tower Hamlets
16 October: Westminster, Camden and Islington, Merton
30 October: Newham, Southwark, Wandsworth (Source Met Police press release)