Machines that can help save lives have been placed around the streets of Valletta for anyone to use.
The automated external defibrillators (AEDs) were installed around the capital city and presented by Health Minister Chris Fearne and Valletta 2018 Parliamentary Secretary Deo Debattista last Thursday. AEDs automatically treat cardiac arrest or arrhythmia during emergencies.
Eight AEDs were placed in areas such as bus terminals in the capital and can be used by people seeking to help those who are experiencing a cardiac arrest. The machine rings an alarm when it is opened to attract the attention of by-standers for them to assist in the situation.
The AED devices restore a normal heartbeat by sending an electric pulse or shock to the heart. Even untrained bystanders can use these devices in an emergency, as all they would need to do is attach sticky pads with sensors, called electrodes, to the chest of the person who is having a cardiac arrest. Instructions are available for the user from the device itself and are easy to follow.
These potentially life saving devices were installed outside Chemimart in Republic Street, Chemimart at the City Gate, the Empire Pharmacy in Old Theatre Street, Castille Hotel in Castille Square, Marsamxett Harbour and the Bus Terminus (Near the Tal-Linja Kiosk).
A Eurostat report concluded that cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the EU. Around 200 people collapse every year from cardiac arrest and need emergency assistance, Malta Resuscitation Council chair Simon Attard Montalto said, adding that only six per cent of those survive.
The AEDs were all donated by the Malta Resuscitation Council together with the Malta Heart Foundation. A crowdsourced map locates the nearest AEDs to you and using the map is very simple.