Heathrow Airport is giving away some of its spare life-saving defibrillators to local community groups, as well as charities and other small non-profit groups in boroughs that surround the West London airport.
The defibrillators are also commonly called an AED, which stands for ‘Automated external defibrillator’ because the sophisticated gadgets can automatically detect whether someone requires a shock and can be operated by someone with little or even no training.
Heathrow has recently updated its AEDs across its four terminal buildings and has found itself with a surplus of older but perfectly useable defibrillators that need a good home.
The first public defib was installed in Heathrow more than 20 years ago, and the airport now has more than 350 AEDs across the airport. The sheer number of the devices across Heathrow means that if a passenger should suffer a cardiac arrest, they should be no more than two minutes away from the closest defib.
Back in 2013, the London Ambulance Service declared that Heathrow was the safest place in Britain to suffer a cardiac arrest because of its network of AEDs, as well as First Aid trained staff and team of bicycle-riding Paramedics.
The NHS warns that in the event of a cardiac arrest, “every second counts and without lifesaving intervention, the chances of survival decrease by about 10 per cent with every passing minute.”
Heathrow claimed to have one of the highest cardiac arrest survival rates in the world, and the survival rate for witnessed cardiac arrests at the airport was reported to be six times as high as in London overall.
The AEDs that Heathrow is giving away are the Lifepack 1000 made by the U.S. healthcare company Physio-Control. Heathrow has around 65 AEDs still to give away, and they are all less than 10 years old.
“A defibrillator in the right place can be a genuine lifesaver,” commented Heathrow’s director of community and sustainability, Becky Coffin.
“That’s why we want to make sure that every single one of these is given a good home in the local community. Anyone from a local group who thinks they would benefit from a free defibrillator should get in touch to register their interest.”
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.