Belfast-based HeartSine® Technologies, the only manufacturer of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in the UK and Ireland, has announced it will donate one of its lifesaving devices to the winning team of the upcoming Grant Thornton Runway Run.
The first team to record all four members across the finish line of the 5k event, which will see 500 employees from more than 100 local companies take to the runway of George Best Belfast City Airport at 11pm on June 24th, will receive a defibrillator for their place of work.
Should the winning team already have a defibrillator on site, they can donate the device to a public building or non-profit organisation.
Declan O’Mahoney, Chief Executive Officer of HeartSine Technologies, said:
“It is estimated that less than half of businesses in the UK have a defibrillator on site. This is despite the fact that 13% of all fatalities in the workplace are due to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), equating to approximately 100 deaths every week in the UK alone.
“Sadly, many of these victims could have been saved had a defibrillator been used in the moments after collapse. An AED can increase survival rates from less than 5% with just CPR to more than 75% with prompt defibrillation.
“By law, every public building in the UK must have at least one fire extinguisher on the premises. Unfortunately, the same legislation is not in place for defibrillators despite the annual number of fire fatalities in the UK workplace, 17 in 2013/2014, which is much smaller than the number of weekly SCA fatalities.
“At HeartSine we’re always eager to support local businesses and already have a team participating in the run, but we are keen to work with Grant Thornton to ensure the event has a lasting legacy on the local business community.
“We are therefore delighted to gift a defibrillator to the winning team and equip one more public building or organization in the area with a lifesaving device that can be used by anyone, even those with no prior first aid training.
“As ever I hope the device never has to be used, but that it will provide peace of mind to the participants and organisers on the night and indeed to the colleagues and clients of the winning team.”
Sudden cardiac arrest can strike without warning, regardless of gender, age or general wellbeing. It often strikes with no prior symptoms and effectively kills the victim as the heart stops instantly. Whilst CPR can keep oxygenated blood flowing, the heart will simply not restart without defibrillation, either using a device which is publicly accessible or the devices transported in the ambulances.
For each minute that defibrillation is delayed, survival rates decrease by 10%.
Richard Gillian, Partner in Charge at Grant Thornton in Northern Ireland, said:
“At Grant Thornton, we place significant emphasis on being a responsible employer and have had a HeartSine samaritan® PAD device in the office the last number of years.
“I am delighted that a HeartSine team will be competing on the night and their generous gifting of a defibrillator is a great example of local companies working together. It really captures the purpose of the event which is promoting team building and friendly competition between local companies of all sizes and from a variety of sectors.
“A defibrillator should be part of the furniture in any public building, just as a fire extinguisher is, and I do encourage local businesses to seriously consider the investment.”
Whilst all HeartSine devices are manufactured in Belfast in over 30 languages, HeartSine is active in over 70 countries across the world.
For more information on obtaining a defibrillator for your place of work or a local public building, please visit https://heartsine.com.