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‘Don't be afraid to use a defibrillator’ says Welsh Ambulance Service

‘DON’T be afraid to use a defibrillator in a medical emergency as it could save a life.’

That’s the important message being shared in a new video launched by the Welsh Ambulance Service as part of its annual Defibuary campaign.

Throughout February the Trust is raising awareness of what a defibrillator is and where to find your nearest one. 

Although public access defibrillators are available in hundreds of locations across Wales, including the summit of Snowdon, many people are fearful of using them as they think they could hurt someone.

However, the service’s Cardiac Lead Carl Powell explains in the footage how the lifesaving devices will analyse the heart’s rhythm, and only deliver a shock if it needs one.

Carl, who is also a Clinical Support Officer, said: “The one key message we want to get across is that nobody should be scared about using a defibrillator.

“It will only deliver a shock to a patient who is in full cardiac arrest and whose heart has been recognised as needing one.

“You can’t do any damage to the patient by utilising one in a cardiac arrest situation.”

Throughout February the Trust is encouraging people to take a selfie with their nearest defibrillator and send details of its location via Twitter to @WelshAmbPIH using the hashtag #Defibuary.

A patient’s chance of surviving an out of hospital cardiac arrest decreases by an estimated 10 per cent with every passing minute without intervention, such as CPR and defibrillation.

If you come across someone who’s unconscious and has stopped breathing, it’s vital to call 999 and start CPR. The call taker will then tell you if there’s a defibrillator nearby.

A defibrillator gives an electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone in cardiac arrest.

You don’t need training to use it, all you have to do is follow the spoken instructions, and many defibrillators will also have diagrams or a screen to help you.

In the first week of the campaign, members of the public have submitted details of more than 50 defibrillator locations across Wales, which will be used to update the service’s central database.

Carl said: “Last year the Welsh Ambulance Service attended just under 6,000 cardiac arrests in Wales, and together with the skill of CPR, defibrillation is one of the key factors in surviving an out of hospital cardiac arrest.

“The more defibrillators we have on our system, the greater the chances that they’ll be used in a cardiac arrest, and the greater the chances of survival for that patient.”

Those who take part in Defibuary could win a number of fantastic prizes, including defibrillators, defibrillator training, four tour tickets for the Principality Stadium in Cardiff and two tickets for a T20 match at the SSE SWALEC Stadium.

Other prizes include a Sunday night stay for two at The Cawdor Hotel in Llandeilo, family tickets for a Scarlets home game, two tickets for Swansea City’s home game against Southampton and family entry to the Bluestone Blue Lagoon Water Park.

To watch Carl’s video in full please visit or click on to find your nearest defibrillator.

If you’re interested in setting up a new Public Access Defibrillator site please call 07734 716766 or e-mail 

Editor’s notes

Picture caption: Health Secretary Vaughan Gething and Welsh Ambulance Service Clinical Support Officer Carl Powell at the launch of the Trust’s Defibuary campaign.

For more information about this media release, please call Communications Officer Liam Randall on 01745 532511 or 07841 840 632 or e-mail

7 Feb 2018 10:47

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