Thousands of lives at risk as defibrillators that kick-start the heart are too hard to find

LIVES are at risk because machines to kick-start the heart when someone collapses are almost impossible to find, new research warns.

Some of the defibrillators were found locked away in cupboards.

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Thousands of lives are at risk as heart shockers are too hard to find[/caption]

In other cases, staff in charge of them had no idea where they were or even what they were for.

The Government has spent at least £2million funding their installation at sports centres, GP ­surgeries, shopping malls and village halls.

But more than two-thirds are so poorly signed that bystanders have little or no chance of finding them in time.

Researchers at Southampton University and South Central Ambulance Service said: “The lack of signage was surprising.”

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The Government has spent £2million to put defibrillators in public spaces but most are locked away or poorly signed[/caption]

The defibrillators could save around 7,000 heart attack patients’ lives a year, it is estimated.

More than 30,000 people a year in the UK collapse with “out-of-hospital” cardiac arrests – often while at home, work or travelling.

Of these, fewer than 3,000 survive, often because heart-shock treatment is not attempted in time.

 

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