16 new automated external defibrillators (AED)

  • “Help, Revive, Save Lives!” is a joint campaign by Lek, a Sandoz company and the Slovene Chamber of Pharmacy, the purpose of which is to increase public awareness about the importance of first aid for sudden heart stoppage.
  • In the first three minutes after loss of consciousness due to sudden heart stoppage there is an 80-percent chance of heart resuscitation. After ten minutes the chances are less than 10 percent.
  • The total cost of the “Help, Revive, Save Lives!” campaign is approximately 50,000 euros and in addition to the purchase of automated defibrillators includes training pharmacists in first aid. During the campaign, selected pharmacies throughout Slovenia will receive defibrillators.

Today, Lek, a Sandoz company and the Slovene Chamber of Pharmacy kicked off the “Help, Revive, Save Lives!” campaign. As part of the campaign, Lek, a Sandoz company will sponsor the purchase of 16 automated external defibrillators, and pharmacies will help train pharmacists in providing first aid for sudden heart stoppage. In the first part of the campaign, pharmacies in the Gorenjska region received funds for the purchase of four defibrillators, and the new devices have already been installed in pharmacies in the Qlandija shopping center in Kranj, Kranjska Gora, Žiri and Gorenja vas. The campaign will continue with the purchase of another 12 devices in other regions of Slovenia. During the presentation of the campaign, Jasna Erznožnik, the assistant manager of the pharmacy in the Qlandija shopping center in Kranj, demonstrated the practical use of automated external defibrillators.

With the “Help, Revive, Save Lives!” campaign, Lek and the Slovene Chamber of Pharmacy are trying to draw attention to the value of increasing public awareness about the importance of first aid for sudden heart stoppage, correct resuscitation techniques and the use of publicly accessible defibrillators. As President of the Slovene Chamber of Pharmacy Andreja Čufar, said on the occasion, the pharmacies are a logical choice for the location for the automated external defibrillators: “The pharmacies are part of the healthcare system and we expect to receive professional medical assistance in them. The network of pharmacies extends throughout Slovenia, and they are staffed by holders of Master’s of Pharmacy degrees, who are professionally trained healthcare workers. This is especially important in places which have a pharmacy but no doctors in the immediate vicinity, and also in pharmacies located in shopping centers and are visited by a large number of people every day. Some pharmacies have already received automated external defibrillators. We would like to see all pharmacies which are not located near health centers equipped with these devices.”

The automated external defibrillators which pharmacies will receive as part of the “Help, Revive, Save Lives!” campaign will be installed in pharmacies that are not located near health centers and do not have suitable equipment for providing first aid. Each defibrillator costs around 3,000 euros, and their quality has been certified by several independent Slovene professionals. The total cost of the “Help, Revive, Save Lives!” campaign is approximately 50,000 euros and in addition to the purchase of automated defibrillators includes first aid training for pharmacists.

“In Lek, a Sandoz company we believe that together with the Slovene Chamber of Pharmacy and by purchasing of the automated external defibrillators we can raise public awareness about the importance of this kind of assistance for sudden heart stoppage and also on the use of publicly accessible defibrillators, which significantly increase the level of efficiency of resuscitation. A lot of people don’t trust themselves to help because of their lack of knowledge, even if there is a defibrillator available, which is very simple to use and guides the user through the resuscitation process,” said Katja Razinger, Head Marketing and Sales Slovenia at Lek, a Sandoz company, who added:
“We recognized the need for publicly accessible defibrillators already in 2005, when we donated funds to the Cardiovascular Health Association for the purchase of two defibrillators: one is located in the underground passageway at Maximarket in Ljubljana, and the other is a mobile device which travels around Slovenia. In 2007 we donated a defibrillator to Radio Slovenija, last year to Festival Ljubljana, and they have been installed at all Lek locations in Slovenia – in Ljubljana and Menges, Lendava, Prevalje and at the Hotel Lek in Kranjska Gora.”

The importance of automated external defibrillators

The automated external defibrillators available on the market today are very simple to use. You switch on the device and attach the electrodes to the patient, and the device then performs the necessary measurements itself and gives instructions for delivering the required electrical charge. Electrical defibrillation is the only procedure with which we can resuscitate a stopped heart. If the procedure is performed within the first three minutes after loss of consciousness, there is an 80-percent chance of heart resuscitation. After ten minutes the chances are less than 10 percent.

As part of the campaign, Lek, a Sandoz company and the Slovene Chamber of Pharmacy will also provide appropriate marking of the locations of the automated external defibrillators. They have designed a special sign, which includes the words Automated External Defibrillator, and a heart and a drawing of a pulse indicate the purpose of the device. This sign will be located in a visible place so that all visitors will be aware of the presence of the device immediately upon entrance to the area or building where it is located, and the place where the device is situated will also be marked.