COMMENT: The more 
defibrillators the better – but where?

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No matter how healthy a lifestyle you lead, or how carefully you take care of yourself and those around you, life can sometimes be cruel.

A cardiac arrest can strike the most unsuspecting.

Of course you can lower your chances of suffering a heart attack, but fate is fickle.

And if one does happen to strike, you will be incredibly grateful if there is a defibrillator close to hand.

Research shows that for every minute a person spends without CPR and defibrillation, their chances of survival drop by 10 per cent.

Every year more than 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest in the UK, and only one in 10 people survive.

Two years ago, The News launched its Heartbeat campaign in a bid to get more defibrillators installed in public places. Since the launch, businesses, community groups and councillors have supported the installation of more than 30 of these life-saving pieces of kit across the region.

The installation of a new unit at The Kings Theatre in Southsea is more good news. As with other locations, it will be made available to anyone who needs it in the vicinity.

But while it’s great news that there are more defibrillators than ever in the area, it helps to know where they are.

It could hardly be worse not knowing that there had been one of these pieces of potential life-savers nearby and only finding out after that fact.

There are online tools for finding your nearest defib unit, but according to the most commonly used, at heartsafe.org.uk there are only two in all of Portsmouth, and only about a dozen more across the region, which we know isn’t accurate.

If you have been responsible for installing a unit, great, but you need to also make sure people know that it’s there.