Introducing Automated External Defibrillators to Ulster Stores

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In September, we introduced Automated External Defibrillators (AED) into all our stores and our support centre. A number of our colleagues undertook training to use the AED machine in the event of an emergency.

A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest. This high energy shock is called defibrillation, and is an essential life-saving step in the chain of survival. Ulster Stores see this as an important part of our health and safety program and have recently introduced defibrillators into the workplace, providing defibrillator training for all members of staff.

Helping to save lives is a shared responsibility. Training employees in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) can minimise time-to-defibrillation when every minute counts. For the best chance of survival, a shock to the heart should be delivered within the first 4-6 minutes. The likelihood of successful resuscitation decreases by approximately 10% with every minute that passes. After 10 minutes without defibrillation, few attempts at resuscitation are successful. Sadly, the average response time for emergency medical services in a community is greater than 10 minutes. Therefore, it is important that AED’s are strategically placed within a workplace so that responders have immediate access to this potentially lifesaving equipment.

Simon Colquhoun, Store Director said “it is fantastic that we now have defibrillators available in all of our stores. Hopefully we will never have to use one, but it is great to be able to provide our local community with this genuinely life-saving piece of equipment.”