Automated External Defibrillators can mean the difference between surviving an incident
Translated by Thomas Ansell
Two foundations, De Hartstichting and Stichting HartslagNu have come together to put all of the Automated External Defibrillators (AED’s) in the Netherlands onto a digital map. This isn’t just to highlight where the life-saving machines are, but also to draw attention to ‘AED-blackspots’ (places where people would have to wait a very long time to access a defibrillator) especially in places with no nearby police or ambulance station.
“There are a number of places in Friesland where a number of steps must be taken; just as many in the cities as in the countryside. Franeker, Leeuwarden, and Sneek for example, must have more accessible AED’s”, says Aart Bosmans of Stichting Hartslag Nu. The goal is for there to be an AED available every 500 metres or so in the Province. As reported by the Omrop Fryslân.
At the moment, there are 779 of the devices that are available day and night in Friesland. According to the two foundations, at least another 140 are needed. But (naturally) the question follows: who pays? “That’s always something to discuss. I had expected that a couple of organisations might jump into the breach, for example health insurance companies. But we have seen through this project that we have to rely on local initiatives”, says Bosmans.
The local gemeente can also help: “the initiative must come from people themselves. But in proportion, people from the gemeente can support the project: whether financially or otherwise”, says Bosmans. According to research from the foundation, having trained citizens and AED provisions makes a huge difference to people’s chances of surviving an incident.
Without citizens assistance, the percentage chance of survival is about 9 percent, but with this rises to 25 percent. “It’s logical, then, that you say that it’s more of a task for the government to support”, says Bosmans.