Netherlands hits target for defibrillator kits and volunteers

Defibrillator training. Photo: Depositphotos
Defibrillator training. Photo: Depositphotos

The Netherlands has enough defibrillators and trained volunteers to resuscitate anyone who collapses in public within six minutes, organisers have said.

The Dutch Heart Foundation (Hartstichting) set the six-minute target to reduce the risk of brain damage. There are 245,000 people trained to use a defibrillator, up from 170,000 four years ago, and 24,000 AED kits posted around the country.

Researchers at Amsterdam’s UMC teaching hospital say that the chances of surviving a heart attack outside hospital have increased from 9% to 25% since the 1990s, partly because the wider use of AEDs means fewer people have have to wait for an ambulance.

Trained volunteers can join a network that alerts them when someone in their vicinity has called 112 with heart attack symptoms and gives details of the nearest AED.

Floris Italianer, director of the Hartstichting, told NOS: ‘Resuscitation is essential in order to restore blood circulation. The earlier this happens, the better it is.’

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