Improving Cardiac Arrest Survival Rates
- The AED Registration Bill aims to introduce a legal requirement for all public Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to be registered with the Scottish Ambulance Service.
A Private Member’s Bill put forward by **Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour MSP, pushes for all defibrillators to be registered so 999 call handlers can direct members of the public to them, increasing the chances of effective treatment following a sudden cardiac arrest. Currently, there are around 3,500 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in Scotland every year where resuscitation is attempted, and in only 1-in-12 of those cases will the person survive.
The proposed Bill would place a duty on vendors, purchasers and guardians of public AEDs to ensure that they are registered as soon as feasibly possible following their purchase with the Scottish Ambulance Service.
Evidence suggests that the rate of AED use when not in a hospital is around 4.3%. The Swedish study found that registered AEDs were 15 times more likely to be used to save a life than unregistered AEDs – presumably because very few people know where they are located!
In an interview, Mr Sarwar said “This proposal could dramatically improve survival rates in Scotland. The evidence of the positive impact of using a defibrillator is overwhelming, doubling survival chances in some cases.
“There is no current requirement for public AEDs to be registered, meaning the ambulance service may direct a bystander to a defibrillator which is further away, or they may not even be aware of one in the vicinity. This Bill would help bystanders save the lives of their fellow citizens and allow Scotland to lead the way in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival.”
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