It’s a well-known story. With a lot of effort, an automatic external defibrillator (AED) was saved. Volunteers have stepped up. The environment is involved. And it worked. The AED is purchased and its availability is festively promoted in the neighborhood. But then the AED is stolen. Unbelievable. Who would steal a device that could save lives?
Similar reports have made it to the media several times recently, giving the impression that AEDs are being stolen on an ongoing basis. This has ensured that many AED owners do not dare to hang their device outside. That’s a shame because every second counts during resuscitation. That is why Medisol BV is now integrating theft insurance into the maintenance plan for AEDs. This free insurance will save lives.
An AED must always be available
An AED can be operated by anyone. If available nearby, the device is used during resuscitation. The device delivers an electric shock that resets the heart. Using an AED increases the chance of survival by 60%. But every delay in deployment reduces the chance of survival. AEDs in a locked cupboard or building are not immediately available. Or worse: cannot be achieved at all.
Saving lives without worry
Many AED owners are afraid to hang their AED outside for fear of theft. This problem has been solved by including AED insurance as standard. Pieter Joziasse, CEO Medisol:
“ This is the only right step to solve the problem of AED accessibility once and for all. We hope that this example will be followed by other parties. Previously, AED insurance had to be paid for. Now it is free. We would rather people use that money to hang the AED outside.”
Various parties, including Medisol and the Heart Foundation, have been committed to making AEDs available in recognizable and accessible cabinets for some time. Particularly in residential areas, the AED density is not yet good enough and accessibility at night is important.
Costs are still a barrier to AEDs. In 2016, Medisol therefore took the initiative to make some of these costs more predictable by reimbursing electrodes and batteries after use. Partly thanks to this action, the Dutch government has made a budget available for AED owners since January 2018.
Medisol hopes that the free AED theft insurance will be another turning point. Together with its network, consisting of almost 400 partners, we will hopefully take another forward step in increasing the availability of AEDs.