‘I firmly believe this scheme will save many more lives’ – Matheson
Communities across Scotland will have access to potentially life-saving defibrillators as the machines are installed in independent NHS dental practices across the country.
The £600,000 programme will see defibrillators delivered by the end of the month. The locations of the defibrillators will be logged with the Scottish Ambulance Service control system, which will increase community access to defibrillators, reduce delays in treatment and increase the chances of survival for cardiac arrest victims.
More than 1500 Scots died after suffering a cardiac arrest outwith hospital last year.
To mark yesterday’s roll-out launch, Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson visited the Montgomery Street Dental Practice in Edinburgh, one of the first to receive a defibrillator.
Mr Matheson, who is himself trained in the use of defibrillators, said: “Every second counts when someone suffers a cardiac arrest and having access to a defibrillator can mean the difference between life and death.
“By the end of this roll-out, there will be more defibrillators in public spaces. With these machines mapped to the Scottish Ambulance Service control system, people can be directed to them more quickly if there is an incident, cutting the delay in treatment and increasing the victim’s chance of survival.
“As these machines are becoming easier to use it is only right that the public have more access to its life-saving potential and I firmly believe that this scheme will save many more lives.”
Alex Coakley, Principal Dentist at the Montgomery Street Practice, added: “This is a fantastic initiative by the Scottish Government. Having defibrillators available in convenient locations such as dental practices will mean that they can be taken to the scene of any incident as quickly as possible, and hopefully save lives.”
Pat Kilpatrick, director of the British Dental Association Scotland, said: “BDA Scotland is delighted that the Scottish Government has recognised the important contribution that the dental team can make in saving lives, and for making this possible by providing defibrillators for every dental practice in Scotland.”