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  • Guest Blog: Lindsay Atherton – #SheAgainstSCA

    Defibshop Sales Manager Lindsay Atherton discusses Sudden Cardiac Arrests, and how they have spent International Women’s Day.

    Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a condition of which no one is immune from; regardless of age, lifestyle of gender, no one can fully prevent or foresee an individual from suffering a cardiac arrest.

    International Women’s Day took place on the 8th March 2017 with many organisations using this opportunity to campaign to see a positive change within politics, economics and social aspects for women.

    On this day, defibshop.co.uk used the opportunity to raise awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest in women, the statistics surrounding this and what precautions can be taken to help increase chances of survival.

    First, let’s take a look at the facts; did you know that Sudden Cardiac Arrest kills 4 times more women than breast cancer? In addition to this, women are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack under the age of 50 than men with only 60% of women receiving the basic life support they need out of a hospital environment, in comparison to the 70% of men which receive treatment.

    Not only are these statistics incredibly concerning, but also vastly unknown to many. We’re a nation that’s always incredibly concerned of our well-being, social status and position in politics; but when it comes to our health, what can we be doing to help make a life-saving change?

    The answer is simple, an increase in education and defibrillator access.

    Since 1994, there has been a steady increase in the amount of women dying each year from heart disease with the gap between men and women’s survival continuing to widen. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of cardiac arrest, which is why with proper education to encourage small lifestyle changes such as reducing the amount of processed foods we eat, quitting smoking and including exercise into our daily routine; we can start to see a difference.

    As the definitive treatment against Sudden Cardiac Arrest, quick access to AEDs has never been more important. With chances of survival decreasing by 10% with every minute that passes, these life-saving machines MUST be made available in every possible public location to help increase our chances of survival.

    When CPR and defibrillation is administered within 3-5 minutes of collapse from SCA, chances of survival increase from 6% to 74%. Survival chances can even reach a massive 94% if delivered within the first minute.

    One woman, who is very much aware of the importance of quick AED access, is defibshop Brand Ambassador Zoe Gillings-Brier.

    As Great Britain’s number 1 Snowboard X athlete with seven World Cup podiums, three winter Olympic Games and many multinational titles to her name, we couldn’t think of a better person to highlight just how important good heart health and the availability is to all women.

    Zoe first became aware of Sudden Cardiac Arrest when she saw how the condition was affecting other athletes as they participated in the sports they love.

    Zoe reached out to defibshop to learn more about how she could protect herself and her team mates against this fatal event and was soon equipped with a life-saving defibrillator which she could keep with her whilst training and also take to competitions to provide protection not only to her own heart, but her fellow competitors, her team and spectators too.

    “I carry an AED everywhere I go when I’m training and I even carry paediatric pads in my carry case, just in case a child was to suffer a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. In an emergency situation we’d be confident in helping with the life-saving shock and the CPR needed too, thanks to defibshop and imperative training’s expert training.

    “The message defibshop conveys in their day-to-day work is amazing. To be able to help raise awareness with them for such an important cause definitely gives me a huge sense of pride.”

    It’s an unsettling thought that we are all venerable to cardiac arrest, no matter how much we look after our health. Simply put, the only way we can make a difference in how many women are dying from sudden cardiac arrest is to increase the amount of emergency equipment available in the form of defibrillators.

    With an increase in awareness in the steps to take in the event of a cardiac arrest, we can help encourage the urge to act in the event of an emergency and ultimately save many lives which otherwise would be lost. This International Women’s Day, we raised awareness of cardiac arrest in women using the hashtag #SheAgainstSCA, but there’s still time to get involved! Find us on twitter @defibshop to help us spread the message.

    AUTHOR

    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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