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More defibrillators in Cavan buildings will save lives – Reilly

30 April, 2015

Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly has reiterated the calls made by Cavan County Council to have defibrillators in some buildings. Senator Reilly raised the issue in the Seanad, calling for an update on the passage of legislation on the issue.

Senator Reilly said:

“Earlier this month, Cavan County Council passed a motion calling on the Government to pass legislation to have a defibrillator at some buildings following the death of a man in a hotel in Cavan.  My Colleague Councillor Paddy McDonald put the motion to the Council for buildings where a large number of people work and socialise to have a defibrillator – and it received unanimous support from the elected members.

“In real-life, emergency situations the use of these devices can more than double survival rates among victims who suffer a sudden heart stoppage due to a heart attack or errant heart rhythm.

“Research has shown that time is critical in saving the majority of people from sudden cardiac death. Care must be provided as rapidly as possible. Currently, defibrillators are used mostly by paramedics and other emergency medical workers who have additional training in CPR. But bystanders first on the scene of an emergency are available to provide life-saving aid before ambulances can arrive.

“The reality is nearly half of all deaths from cardiovascular disease are sudden and unexpected and occur before hospital admission. The delay from arrest to defibrillation is a significant predictor of survival.

“I am asking for an update on the passage of the Public Health (Availability of Defibrillators) Bill 2013, which Senator Quinn brought to the House towards the end of 2013. I am also asking that the House give consideration to having a debate with the relevant Ministers on this issue, with particular reference to the report of HIQA from the end of last year calling for targeted deployment of defibrillators. 

“This is a serious matter of public health policy and similar to previous discussions about placing fire extinguishers near building exits, wearing seat belts while driving, or manufacturing cars with airbags. That is why we need to implement this legislation and the Minster, coupled with his colleague in the Department of Environment, should look at this issue as a matter of urgency.”

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