UNISON Success: AEDs at UCL

About 5 years ago a visiting academic had a cardiac arrest at the IOE. He was promptly treated by a first aider with CPR and a defibrillator (AED) and recovered. Had there not been a defibrillator on-site he would most likely have died. London ambulance figures show the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest without an AED on-site is 9% but with an AED on-site is 56%.

Until now it has not been UCL policy to provide AEDs, although a few departments have bought them independently. Thanks to UNISON negotiating this at the H&S committee UCL has now agreed to buy 30 AEDs for buildings around the Bloomsbury campus.

We presented a paper outlining the statistics; the cost; the safety of the devices; and the fact that our first-aiders are already trained to use them. On advice from London ambulance, we emphasised there would be only a 9% chance of surviving a cardiac arrest regardless of our proximity to UCL hospital.

Rex Knight (vice provost) was impressed by the paper. He has now put arrangements in place for the purchase of AEDs across the campus.