During my recent family trip to the UK, I couldn’t help but continually notice the placement of AED’s, something that has become second nature for me since we started Defib For Life in 2010.
Our journey commenced at Tullamarine airport Melbourne, where AED’s have been in place now for many years and have been responsible for saving many lives. Throughout my journey I passed through 6 airports and like Tullamarine these airports all had strategically placed AED’s. Thankfully, it appears that the placement of AED’s in international airports has become the norm.
It was pleasing to see that government departments around the world clearly understood the importance of AED’s as indicated by the proliferation of defibrillators at international airports, or do they? For some reason they have not felt it necessary to mandate them in locations other than international airports. In my opinion, the main reason why defibrillators are policy at international airports and not elsewhere is to safe guard them against the embarrassment of an international incident should an overseas traveler die suddenly of a cardiac arrest whilst in transit.
Throughout my travels outside of the airport system, AED’s did appear ad-hoc across the UK, mostly at large shopping centres and tourist attractions. What was quite interesting to me though was that defibrillators had become common in the small village setting. The common theme was that most had been purchased through their local community either via a fundraiser or a substantial donation by a single resident.