SHS to install 20 defibrillators in the UK available to seafarers

The Seafarers Hospital Society (SHS) will provide and install 20 defibrillators in ports and seafarer centers across the UK as part of its ongoing health outreach program.

The project, which received funding from Department for Transport via leading maritime charity the Merchant Navy Welfare Board, is aimed at preventing heart-related fatalities after identifying a growing prevalence of heart disease in coastal communities. The initiative aims to install 20 Lifeline Automated External Defibrillators (AED) in ports and seafarer centers across the UK by the end of 2023.

These measures will help save lives and ensure our seafarers know their welfare is of paramount importance

… said Baroness Vere, Maritime Minister

Treatment with a life-saving shock from an AED is a key factor in increasing a person’s chance of survival in the event of a heart attack. They are compact, portable, require little maintenance and can be stored for long periods of time. SHS has specifically chosen AEDs which can be used safely and effectively without requiring previous training.

According to Sandra Welch, CEO of the Seafarers Hospital Society, the AED devices they have chosen provide audio-visual instructions, making them universally comprehensible and allowing personnel to operate them safely even in times of panic or emergency.

Additionally, we have ensured that a training — either face-to-face, virtual or via video — accompanies each AED so that personnel at these ports and centres are well-equipped to ensure seafarer wellbeing in the case of a cardiac incident

… added Sandra Welch.

The choice to install AEDs comes because of information gathered by SHS through its SeaFit Programme and regular work with crew. The rising median age of seafarers working in the UK has shown a concurrent rise in heart attacks and other similar health-related incidents caused by high blood pressure.

This important piece of equipment could save someone’s life and we are grateful to The Seafarers Hospital Society for championing this cause.

… said Alexander Campbell, CEO of QVSR

Every minute that passes without CPR or defibrillation reduces the chances of survival by up to 10% – and this project will help save lives.

… added Stuart Rivers, Chief Executive of the MNWB

The rise in heart disease may also be driven by lifestyle, deprivation, stress, and other factors. In an exclusive interview to SAFETY4SEA, Ms. Güven Kale, Chief Clinical Officer (CCO), Mental Health Support Solutions (MHSS), recommended best practices to ensure good mental health onboard, focusing on a holistic approach that includes connection of mind, body, and spirit.


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