Tartu to Introduce Defibrillators in Public Places

A defibrillator at Amsterdam Airport Photo: Wikimedia Commons
8/24/2011 10:51 AM
Category: news.err.ee

The city of Tartu is the first municipality in Estonia to start installing defibrillators in public places in order to make it possible to quickly resuscitate people who have gone into cardiac arrest.

The first device will be installed in the Aura recreation center. Deputy Mayor of Tartu Jüri Kõre explained that by installing the defibrillator, the city of Tartu and the Aura Center are hoping to contribute to the citizens' sense of security, since the latter are becoming increasingly concerned with their own well-being, health, and safety.

"The message 'help is on the way' is important to a person in trouble. I believe that the first defibrillator will be followed by others and soon we will be able to say 'help is right here' in many public places in Tartu," said Kõre.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Estonia as well as in the rest of the world. Each year, there are approximately 3,000 cases of sudden cardiac death in Estonia. An automated external defibrillator is a device that is used for administering an electric shock to people who have gone into cardiac arrest, which considerably increases the chances of resuscitation.

The device can also be used by people who have been trained to do it, but lack the relevant specialised professional training. For quick and safe use, the defibrillator is equipped with built-in vocal instructions and a cardiac monitor, which also means that it will be impossible to administer an electric shock to a person whose heart is beating.

"In Europe and the United States, such defibrillators are widespread and public awareness of them is high; they can be found in shopping malls, indoor pools, gyms, airports, streets, and parks," explained the head of the City Department of Healthcare, Sirje Kree. "In Tartu, the first defibrillator will be installed indoors, so that we could assess how the device is received by the citizens and whether they get used to it. Only then will we consider other, more crowded public places."

Before the defibrillator is installed, the staff will be trained in how to use it and how to give first aid. The whole process will take approximately eight weeks. At Tuesday's sitting, the Tartu City Government allocated 2,870 euros from its reserves to the Department of Healthcare for purchasing the device and carrying out the necessary training.


Sigrid Maasen

See also