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Havering becomes part of London-wide defibrillator initiative to increase cardiac survival rate

PUBLISHED: 15:00 31 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:44 01 November 2017

Defibrillator. Picture: Met Police

Defibrillator. Picture: Met Police

Met Police

Following a successful trial, Havering is one of the last London boroughs to be included in an initiative which sees police officers responding alongside paramedics to life-threatening emergencies such as cardiac arrests.

This week, Havering, Croydon and Ealing has joined the other 29 boroughs as part of the scheme.

In London, the average cardiac survival rate is 9pc while at Heathrow, the survival rate is 75pc thanks to the availability of so many Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) as well as staff and emergency services being nearby.

Head of First Responders at London Ambulance Service Chris Hartley-Sharpe said: “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.

This means that if they reach the patient first or are already on the 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.

Strategic health and safety advisor from the Metropolitan Police Service Sue Warner said: “We are delighted to be working with the London Ambulance Service to save lives across London.

“Equipping our response team vehicles and station offices with this essential life saving equipment will enable our officers to respond to these critical life or death emergency calls.”

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