The Malta Independent 20 June 2019, Thursday

Eight defibrillators installed in public spaces around Valletta

Thursday, 27 December 2018, 13:32 Last update: about 7 months ago

Eight Automated External Defibrillators (AED) are being installed in public spaces around Valletta, Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne said on Thursday.

He was addressing a press conference at the Valletta Bus Terminus, where one of the eight devices has been installed. The AED is located just behind the Tal-Linja kiosk.

Fearne, who is also Health Minister, highlighted the importance of the defibrillators, which are portable devices that can check the heart rhythm and can restore with an electric shock in case of a cardiac arrest.

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He explained that the device is self-explanatory and comes with all the necessary instructions, therefore anyone can use them. The device itself is programmed to know whether the person needs an electric shock.  He also said that, currently, the ministry is working on campaigns and initiatives to make people more conscious and aware of the device and to understand the signs of a cardiac arrest so as to know when to use it accordingly.

Fearne said that if a defibrillator is used within the first five minutes of a cardiac arrest, there is an 80% chance of survival. This is why such devices are needed in public spaces, especially in our capital city.

He said that there are a number of defibrillators in Malta and Gozo, but most of them are in schools, hospitals or hotels, making it difficult for someone to access one if they are out in an open space.

The DPM said that the plan is to install more defibrillators in open spaces in Malta and Gozo.

Parliamentary Secretary for V18 Deo Debattista said that, apart from Valletta being a capital of culture, Valletta must also be a capital of safety.

He said that numerous defibrillators installed around other European capital cities, and it is about time that the device is introduced to Valletta. 

Debattista said that since both he and the Deputy Prime Minister have a medical background, they feel it is essential to have such life-changing devices in Valletta. He thanked the Valletta Local Council, Valletta Business Community and the Malta Heart Foundation for their help. The AED's were donated by the Malta Resuscitation Council in collaboration with the Malta Heart Foundation.

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