WEST Midlands Ambulance Service is to invest over half a million pounds on new life saving equipment.
The £550,000 investment will see the Trust buying 70 defibrillators for its frontline emergency vehicles from US firm ZOLL.
Over the past 10 years, the company has supplied WMAS with more than 700 defibrillators. This order will see 58 of the E-series defibs on new WMAS front line ambulances and rapid response vehicles (RRVs). In addition the Trust is buying 12 of the smaller AED (automated external defibrillator) Pros.
WMAS Service Delivery Director, Mark Gough, said: “Every second is critical when we treat a victim of cardiac arrest. Defibrillators provide life-saving technology so that we can offer the best critical care possible and do everything we can to help a patient survive.
“We work incredibly hard to get a response to the patient in under four minutes so that we can get the full benefit of a defibrillator.”
“This focus has seen the number of patients who have suffered a cardiac arrest and survived rise markedly in recent years. In the West Midlands, almost 9% of patients who have suffered a cardiac arrest are discharged from hospital.
“Although this is a significant improvement over earlier survival rates, we are working hard to improve this further.
“Each one of these patients would have died had it not been for a defibrillator. They are now able to spend time with their family and friends—time that they would not otherwise have had.”
Sudden Cardiac Arrest is where the heart stops completely, which causes a lack of blood flow to vital organs and claims more than 200,000 lives each year in the United Kingdom.
It is the leading cause of unexpected death in the world and strikes without warning. Currently, 95 percent of victims do not survive.
Jonathan A. Rennert, President of ZOLL, added: “It’s an honour that WMAS, one of Britain’s top-performing emergency services, continues to select ZOLL to help improve survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest.”
“Having been acknowledged time and again for delivering the best in critical care, West Midlands is indeed a valued customer.”