Supermarket chain Tesco is set to introduce defibrillators in over 900 of its largest stores.
A defibrillator is a machine that detects the heart’s rhythm. It delivers a high energy electric shock to the heart which may, in some types of cardiac arrest, restore a more stable rhythm.
Statistics from the British Heart Foundation show that over 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest outside of hospital in the UK every year, but less than one in 10 survive.
The heart charity said that for every minute without CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) or access to a machine that can restart the heart, a person’s chance of survival decreases by around 10%.
A total of 729 Tesco Extra and Superstores all over the country will be fitted with defibrillators as part of the initiative. The retailer also plans to install the equipment in all of its 178 Metro stores over the coming months.
Tesco UK chief operating officer Tony Hoggett said: “We are always looking for ways to help the communities we serve, and we know that having a defibrillator to hand can mean saving the life of someone suffering a cardiac arrest. This initiative has the potential to make a real difference to customers and colleagues all over the country.”
BHF Head of Survival Sara Askew added: “If you have a cardiac arrest in the UK today you have just a one in 10 chance of survival. More people could be saved if more people had the skills and confidence to perform CPR and more defibrillators were available and accessible in public places.
“We’re delighted that Tesco is supporting BHF’s Nation of Lifesavers campaign by making public access defibrillators available in all its larger stores. Knowing vital CPR skills and having access to a defibrillator can often be the difference between life and death.”