The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST) is part of the Save a Life Cymru campaign, working in partnership with other organisations including the Welsh Government, other emergency services and charitable organisations that are committed to supporting cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training and public access defibrillation across Wales.
Registering your defibrillator is essential in improving survival from out of hospital cardiac arrest. Defibrillation in under 5 minutes can produce survival rates as high as 50-70% (Resuscitation Council UK, 2019). We have over 4100 Automated External Defibrillators’ registered on our control systems and our staff can direct members of the public to the nearest location in the event of an emergency. We ask that defibrillators are registered with us for public use so that they can be easily located when needed.
The Welsh Ambulance Service supports familiarisation courses in basic life support and use of the defibrillator.
What is a Cardiac Arrest?
A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating effectively and normal breathing ceases. This results in the casualty becoming unresponsive and urgent intervention is required, call for help, start CPR and use a defibrillator.
What is a PAD?
Public Access Defibrillators (PADs) are devices located in publicly available areas that can deliver an electric shock to a casualty in cardiac arrest. These devices are simple and safe to use. No training is required to use a PAD. They can also be called Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).
To see how a defibrillator can be used in the event of a cardiac arrest, click here.
Where are PADs located?
The Welsh Ambulance Service have placed defibrillators in locations such as schools, airports, shopping centres, railway stations, leisure centres and ferry ports.PADs have been placed in areas if high footfall and within local communities, often funded by local community groups.
Find Defibrillator locations across Wales here Defib Locations search.
Where can I purchase a PAD?
There are two main options:
Option 1: Purchase a PAD from the manufacturer or a commercial supplier (see types and recommendations).
Option 2: Apply for part-funding towards the cost of a PAD through charities.
Some of these are listed as follows:
Achub Calon Y Dyffryn (Wales) - email@example.com
British Heart Foundation (UK) - www.bhf.org.uk
Community Heartbeat Trust (England) - www.communityheartbeat.org.uk/
Heartbeat UK (England) - www.heartbeat-nwcc.org.uk/
My Cariad (Wales) - www.mycariad.org/
SADS UK (England) - www.sadsuk.org.uk/newsite/
Welsh Hearts (Wales) – www.welshhearts.org/
PAD costs vary but most units can be purchased within a range of £800 to £1200.
The guardian responsibilities for the PAD usually lie with the guardian of the unit. These include:
- Regular checks to ensure the PAD is functioning and will operate when needed.
- Ensuring electrode pads are in date (typically 2 - 5 years shelf life).
- Replacement of batteries when they are discharged.
- Ensuring that if the unit is used within the community that it is checked and replaced once used.
With the BHF Circuit now operational, the guardians will be prompted to check the defibrillator, report that it is functional and will be notified if it is deployed for a cardiac arrest. Although WAST are not responsible for the PAD, we are available for advice and support.
Ongoing costs are usually the replacement of electrode pads and batteries. Sometimes a fault may develop within the unit and a “service required” may be indicated. This may incur a cost if the unit is out of warranty.
Please refer to the manufacturer’s warranty period when the unit is registered with the manufacturer. If the PAD develops a fault in the warranty period, the manufacturer will respond accordingly.
Can a person be sued for using a PAD or what if I do something wrong? These are common questions. In the UK there have been no successful prosecutions of a person who has tried to help another person. A PAD can only improve a situation when a cardiac arrest has occurred.
For more information, please visit: www.resus.org.uk/pages/legal.pdf
AEDs are designed to be used by anyone whether they have received training or not. Nobody should be prevented from accessing an AED at any time. WAST offer defibrillator familiarisation courses for which there is no cost. Contact Gerard Rothwell or Tomos Hughes firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com.
Various cabinets are available for storing a PAD. As a basic guide there are three options:
1) A simple wall bracket or sleeve, or hooks (which can be purchased for little cost from a DIY store) which provide a support for the AED suitable for an internal location, such as a room or supervised reception area
Example of a wall bracket.
Product shown: Zoll Part No: 8000-0809
Product shown: Bracket, Wall Mounting, for iPAD SP1 AED (single)
2) Internal wall-mounted cabinet. These usually have a door-opening alarm to alert those nearby the unit has been accessed. They are suitable for locations that do not usually have very low temperatures and/or are exposed to wind chill conditions.
Example of a wall-mounted internal cabinet
Product shown: Zoll Part No: 8000-0855
Product shown: WelMedical Indoor Wall Mounted Cabinet for the iPAD SP1
3) External wall-mounted heated cabinet. These have a heating element which activates when temperatures are low. They require an electricity supply and must be installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Example of External Heated Cabinet with alarm.
Product shown: Aivia 2A210XX101
Product shown: DefibSafe External Heated Cabinet with Alarm
Product shown: SADS UK External Heated Cabinet with Alarm
For up to date prices and more information, please contact the manufacturers and/or distributors.
Please note: WAST does not recommend using a locked cabinet, which is also the recommendation stated by Save a Life Cymru and Resuscitation Council UK.