12/02/2009 - Seafarer's Union Hails LIFEFORCE® AED and Calls for Defibrillators on All Ships
Nautilus, the UK seafarer’s union has welcomed the news that we have already sold 230 of our life-saving automated external defibrillators – LIFEFORCE® Marine AED – in the 6 months since we launched the product.
The Union is now urging more companies to fit the equipment – which helps restore a normal rhythm to an erratic heartbeat caused by a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) – on all their vessels.
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency has issued a guidance notice MGN 297 (M) recommending that vessels undertake a risk assessment in order to determine whether defibrillators should be carried onboard as part of their emergency equipment.
However, Nautilus – who campaign for the welfare of all its members – believe that even more should be done to ensure the wellbeing of all crew members and argue that carriage of defibrillators should be compulsory:
‘It is good to know that some companies are investing in this equipment and we believe it is essential that other operators follow suit by providing defibrillators onboard their ships. It can make the difference between life and death,’ said senior national secretary Allan Graveson.
With aging crews and the problems in recruiting new staff, many companies are now investing in the welfare of their existing crew as an important part of crew retention. Part of this includes the provision of a defibrillator on-board their vessels and with the LIFEFORCE® Marine AED being the only defibrillator to be Type Approved for marine use our customers are able to rest assured that our unit will be there for them when they need it most.
SCA is the world’s biggest killer, being responsible for over 3 million deaths worldwide each year. If a victim receives defibrillation within the vital first 3 minutes, the chances of survival are increased by a staggering 70%. The chances of survival drop by 10% for every minute without defibrillation and so after 10 minutes the chances of survival are nil. Even on land emergency services often don’t reach the victim in time and so anyone suffering SCA at sea has no chance of survival. Effective CPR will delay cell death and buy a little extra time but at no point will it restore a normal heart rhythm, the only effective treatment is defibrillation.
‘Due to the remote location and the inability of the emergency services to reach victims in time, a defibrillator has become an essential piece of equipment for all ships,’ said Andy Carter, product manager for the LIFEFORCE® Marine defibrillator.
The following testimonial from one of our LIFEFORCE® customers – Tony Loizou, Managing Director of Maestro Shipmanagement (Cyprus) Ltd – typifies the attitude of a growing number of forward thinking companies:
"Maestro Shipmanagement Ltd, based in Limassol, Cyprus, looks upon the provision of a defibrillator unit to each of the vessels within the fleet as sensible and pro-active good management that additionally provides the crew with a real means to make a difference. Having completed a broad market investigation, it became clear that Martek Marine were able to provide a marine-approved unit at a reasonable cost, specifically tailored for the fairly unforgiving demands of the marine industry. This, combined with the evident simplicity of use, guided the decision which has not been regretted."