Vital to know where defibrillators are located

IT IS great news to hear that the Government is deploying automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at Housing Board blocks from this year, as our survival rate for sudden cardiac arrest is under 10 per cent, compared with 40 per cent to 60 per cent in cities overseas ("App helps users locate CPR-trained people to save lives"; April 18).

We would like to find out the reason some constituencies were chosen ahead of others to have AEDs deployed at the foot of HDB blocks, since some unselected constituencies have a higher proportion of elderly people, who are more prone to cardiac arrest.

The Crowdsav app has indicated that since March 2012, many of the AEDs deployed at the foot of HDB blocks in the Henderson area have been removed.

It would be good to understand the reasons behind their removal before the renewed efforts to deploy AEDs.

We have also identified certain AED deployments which are of concern to us. For example, the People's Association has deployed AEDs in almost all its community centres and clubs, but in some of those places, like Toa Payoh West CC, Mountbatten CC, Tampines North CC and Bukit Timah CC, the AEDs are located behind locked doors after office hours.

This will restrict public access to the life-saving devices after office hours.

Finally, it is interesting to note that some of the AED locations we found in the Crowdsav database are not found in the current National AED Registry.

It is vital that the public be given up-to-date information on these AED locations, especially when not all Singaporeans will have easy access to an AED at the foot of their HDB block.

Dana Elliott (Dr)
First Aid Corps (Singapore)

FORUM NOTE: First Aid Corps is a non-profit organisation involving volunteers who respond to cardiac arrest cases in their neighbourhood.


This article was first published on May 9, 2015.
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