National project launched to register thousands of defibrillators and save lives

Public-access defibrillators are used in less than 10 per cent of cardiac arrests as tens of thousands of the machines are not registered, but now a national network to log them all in a database has been launched

Dad-of-two Ripon Danis says he wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for a defibrillator

Knowing the exact location of a defibrillator near someone suffering a cardiac arrest could help a 999 call handler save that person’s life.

But public-access defibrillators are used in less than 10% of cardiac arrests as tens of thousands of the machines are not registered. Now a project has been launched to get them all logged on a new database.

This national network, called The Circuit, could save thousands of lives in the coming years.

Prof Stephen Powis, national medical director at NHS England, said: “Access to a defibrillator, along with early CPR, can mean the difference between life and death.”

Ripon Danis with his family

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The Circuit means 999 call handlers can direct people at the scene to the closest defibrillator so it can be used on the patient before the ambulance arrives.

Every minute that passes without CPR or defibrillation reduces the chances of survival by up to 10%. Bosses at the project hope to have around 70,000 “lost” defibrillators registered this year.

People who look after the machines in places such as offices and shopping centres are being urged to register them on the network.

The dad-of-two went into cardiac arrest in November 2018 when he was 37

Dad-of-two Ripon Danis, of Leamington, Warks, was 37 when he suffered a cardiac arrest while going home from a martial arts class in 2018.

The public health official said: “I was in the best shape of my life. I felt invincible. I never thought I’d have a cardiac arrest. I was fortunate a passer-by ran to get a defibrillator from the station while another person started giving me CPR. [It] ultimately saved my life.”

While the UK’s 14 ambulance services have had their own regional databases, The Circuit will replace these with a new national network that lets staff know where defibrillators are across the UK.

The Circuit is already live in most parts of the country and will become nationwide soon. Health Minister Maria Caulfield said: “This national database could help save thousands of lives.

“If you are the guardian of a defibrillator, register it on The Circuit.”

Visit TheCircuit.UK to register a defibrillator.

The Mirror is campaigning for a law to ensure defibrillators are legally required at locations such as schools, sports grounds and public buildings.

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