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Published on 20/12/2017

Sudden Cardiac Arrest at Sea

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) can affect anybody of any fitness level and age, anywhere, at any time. It’s the world’s biggest killer, with over 17.3 million deaths per year worldwide due to heart complications, and with it expected to rise to as much as 23.6 million by 2030, being protected and having the correct equipment is key to helping victims survive. Not only does it help improve the safety and welfare of your crew, it can save thousands of dollars in medical expenses. 1 in 5 ship excursions are forced to divert due to medical reasons. The potential cost saving to the maritime industry is in excess of $168 million per year.

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night and finding your friend or colleague unconscious on the floor. Now to add to that you are 50 nautical miles offshore and another 50 miles from the closest town with a hospital, in a new foreign country. Having an AED on-board at all times is critical, without one, the outcome will be tragic. Acting quick in the case of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest will save lives. Performing CPR and using a defibrillator on a victim within the first minute can increase their survival chances by up to 90%. Although emergency response plans should be in place, there simply isn’t enough time to provide the patient with the immediate care they require and there definitely isn’t time for a medical evacuation.

LIFEFORCE® is an automated external defibrillator (AED) specifically designed for the marine environment. It is designed to be the simplest AED on the market and multiple independent tests have proven that members of the public without any training can deliver a life-saving shock quicker than any other unit on the market. When it comes to defibrillation and cardiac arrest, every minute counts. Every minute with CPR and defibrillation reduces survival rates by 10%. As soon as defibrillation begins the better in regards to survival rates, if not, using a defibrillator on the victim within the first three minutes is vital. Is this a risk worth taking at sea? Having access to a defibrillator is the driving force behind survival.

With a built-in handle and weighing just 1.9kg, the LIFEFORCE® AED is portable, lightweight and can easily be stored and carried to a victim’s aid. The unit is completely weatherproof, with its ruggedized handles and sides, it has been military tested for durability and provides ultimate protection from impact damage.

If there is a fatality due to SCA, what words could you possibly find to console the victim’s family, fellow crew members and friends, when you had no equipment to help – because you didn’t have the time, the budget or the knowledge?