Whitbread has installed defibrillators in all of
its 800 Premier Inn and hub by Premier Inn hotels in the UK.
Premier Inn welcomes millions of guests each
year and this significant investment has been hailed as having the
potential to save countless lives – and indeed has already done so
within just days of installation.
On 1 January 2020, a guest at a pub next to
Premier Inn Westminster hub on London’s Tothill Street was in
cardiac arrest when the first responder spotted a sticker alerting
him to the fact a defibrillator was available in the neighbouring
Premier Inn hotel. The equipment was lent to the response team,
who later confirmed it successfully saved the patient’s life.
An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) or
simply, a defibrillator, is a machine that delivers an electric
shock through the heart of a person in cardiac arrest. This shock,
which is called defibrillation, is designed to return a heart to
its normal working rhythm.
Premier Inn’s defibrillators are all fully
automatic devices. Once opened, the machine will talk the user
through what to do. It will analyse whether a shock should be
delivered and, if so, tell the user when to do so. Alternatively,
it may ask the user to carry out CPR (cardiopulmonary
resuscitation) also known as chest compressions. All the user has
to do is follow the instructions and no training is required.
If a guest or passer-by is having a Sudden Cardiac
Arrest (SCA) these devices can make a life-saving difference
before the emergency services arrive.
Each Premier Inn defibrillator is registered
with the emergency services, making them aware of the locations so
that in the case of an emergency, the nearest hotel could not only
save a guest’s life but also a member of the public.
Anthony Marsh, Chairman of the Association of
Ambulance Chief Executives, said, “I very much welcome the
decision by Whitbread to place a defibrillator at each of their
Premier Inn hotels – it’s a move which could save countless lives
and I hope other major hotel chains follow suit. A cardiac arrest
can happen to absolutely anyone; young or old, fit or not. When
someone suffers a cardiac arrest, not to be confused with a heart
attack, they are clinically dead; their heart has stopped beating
and they will not recover unless someone is prepared to start CPR
quickly and a defibrillator is attached to them to reset the
heart. Currently, the survival rate from cardiac arrests in the UK
is tragically low at around 7%, but by increasing the number of
defibrillators available and growing the number of people prepared
to carry out CPR, that figure can be improved markedly. The
reality is that increasing the number of defibrillators could make
the difference between life and death and ultimately give friends
and families the chance to spend time with their loved ones that
they would not otherwise have had.”
The Powerheart G5 Defibrillators have been
provided by Cardiac Science. Cardiac Science is a global
organisation who manufacture and distribute this life-saving
equipment to companies, healthcare professionals, emergency
responders, and the general public.
Shaun Ingram, Managing Director of Cardiac Science
UK, said, “We are delighted and very proud to be working with
Premier Inn on this sector-leading initiative. Not only does this
significant investment demonstrate Premier Inn’s commitment to
protecting their employees and guests, but by making them
accessible 24/7, it allows broader communities to also benefit,
for which they should be congratulated.”
SCA kills up to 60,000 people in the UK every year
and affects people of all ages. A sudden cardiac arrest refers to
a problem with the heart’s electrical system causing it to
suddenly stop beating normally. For every minute that passes
without CPR and defibrillation, an SCA victims’ likelihood of
survival decreases by up to 10%. Having a defibrillator on hand
can be the difference between life and death.
Making a Difference.