BENJAMIN Culff, who was just 17-years-old when he suffered a cardiac arrest, is adding his voice to a national campaign calling for more defibrillators.
Every day, 150 people die in the UK from sudden cardiac arrest, making it one of the nation’s biggest killers.
And unless a cardiac arrest sufferer receives quality CPR and defibrillation within minutes, they will not survive. Yet provision of defibrillators in the UK is “patchy”.
A group of politicians, led by Conservative MP and former Stratford district councillor Jonathan Gullis, have formed a new All Party Parliamentary Group to launch an emergency inquiry into the UK’s AED (Automated External Defibrillator) shortage. There are currently only 100,000 devices in a country with a population of over 67million.
The government has committed to fitting AEDs in all state-funded schools in England by next June, but the current shortage is threatening their ambitions.
At the same time, Rapid Response Revival, the creators of CellAED – the world’s first personal, portable AED – are committing to delivering thousands of devices to the UK in early 2023 to help stem the shortage. This is all part of their global campaign to reduce unnecessary deaths from cardiac arrest.
Leamington resident Benjamin, who suffered a sudden cardiac arrest as a teenager while at work as a waiter, has joined a UK-wide campaign to improve access to defibrillators.
He said: “Thanks to the quick action of my courageous colleagues and the fact that there was an onsite defibrillator in my workplace, I was given a second chance. My story is testament to the fact that sudden cardiac arrest really can strike anyone, anywhere at any time.
“It’s therefore critical there is good provision of defibrillators across the country if victims of sudden cardiac arrest are to stand a chance of survival. The Government’s intention to launch an inquiry into the shortage of defibrillators is an encouraging step in the right direction. As are the efforts of innovative businesses like Rapid Response Revival, who are changing the game with CellAED – a mini defibrillator that could be easily used in homes and offices.
“I’m hopeful that over the coming years we will see defibrillators becoming mandatory in settings such as schools, to help improve the chances of survival for other young people who may find themselves in a similar position.”
Mr Gullis said: “It is truly sad that in our society today, so many people are still dying from sudden cardiac arrest. The shortage of defibrillators across the UK is a serious concern, and not helping to prevent people unnecessarily tragically losing their lives.
“I look forward to personally championing this mission and working with colleagues and key players in the industry to implement change.”