A Bury St Edmunds supermarket has installed a public access heart defibrillator to help give people in its community the best chance of surviving a cardiac arrest.
Asda, in Western Way, is one of 38 stores across the East of England to have installed the life-saving machines and train its staff in CPR.
Community life champion Michelle Frost, pictured, said Asda - working in partnership with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) - was in the process of installing the emergency devices in all of its 568 stores, as well as 25 of its depots and offices, making it ‘the first large retailer to role out defibrillators in all of its UK stores’.
The defibrillator, which can be found on the wall behind the store’s customer service desk, can be used by any member of the public to deliver an electric shock to the heart when someone is having a cardiac arrest.
A person’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest falls by 10 per cent for every minute they are without CPR and defibrillation.
Amit Aggarwal, head of corporate fund-raising at BHF, said: “Cardiac arrest survival rates in the UK are astonishingly low, but Asda’s bold commitment to become the first large retailer to have CPR trained colleagues and public access defibrillators in every store will be instrumental in helping communities up and down the country access the life-saving support they need in an emergency. This really could mean the difference between life and death for someone having a cardiac arrest while doing something as ordinary as shopping.”
Lorna Hayes, regional community partnership lead for the East of England Ambulance Service, said: “This is a very ambitious project and, with so many devices available to the public throughout the region, it is important that people not only know where they are, but how to use them as well. There is a tremendous amount of footfall at the stores and we’ve had a number of cardiac arrests as supermarkets recently. It’s great to work with Asda and be a part of such an amazing opportunity.”