The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Interior (MoI) deployed 82 automatic defibrillators in different locations across the UAE with the aim to deal with emergencies and heart failure cases. A number of community members were trained to operate the defibrillators that were put for use when needed in public places.

Lieutenant Colonel Omar Ahmed Al Dhaheri, Chief of the Training Section at the Emergency and Public Safety Department, at the Central Operations Department in the Abu Dhabi Police said that installing these defibrillators at public places comes in realization of the vision of Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior aiming to train staff members working in public places such as malls, shopping centers, municipality, governmental entities, public parks, etc. in order to save the lives of people who might face cardiac arrests.

Al Dhaheri said that the number of training courses for individuals and staff working at shopping centers and entities reached to 78 courses including 25 refresher courses to enhance their capabilities of using defibrillators when needed, and enable them to instantly handle emergencies and heart failure. He noted that the refresher courses provide a second chance to promote the practice on how to use the equipment, elevate the level of skills of the public in this regard, and reduce the response time needed in heart failure cases until the arrival of the ambulances.

Lieutenant Colonel Al Dhaheri explained that defibrillators are automatic medical equipment used to treat heart rhythm disorders by electric shocks that end the disorder of the heart’s electrical signals. He said that defibrillators are used when there are symptoms of circulatory failure in a person with suspected heart failure. The symptoms include fainting, irregular breathing, and a weak or absent pulse.

He said that the training is delivered by qualified experts with international accreditation from the American Heart Association, to empower members of the public of using it when needed, and to raise awareness on the importance of first aid, and to upgrade services according to international standards. He explained that trainees are awarded certificates accredited by the American Heart Association to conduct Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and use defibrillators. He continued that defibrillators are user-friendly, safe and smart, and they won’t provide electric shocks until they analyze the pulse and heart signals to detect a ventricular fibrillation that requires an electric shock.

He explained that defibrillators are used when the heart does not beat properly, and they include a built-in computer that can identify such cases, and then allow providing an electric shock to restore heart beats. He noted, “The steps of using the equipment include operating the defibrillator, and following the instructions that are displayed in audio and visual formats. The skills of using the equipment depend on the level of training received.”

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