Dad-of-three from St Andrews who survived a cardiac arrest backs national campaign for defibrillators to be registered

A father-of-three from St Andrews is supporting a national campaign for defibrillators to be registered on a national database after he survived a cardiac arrest last December.

Bill Shackman had collapsed while surfing near his home in the town's East Sands Beach and didn't recall anything about the morning of the incident or the hours afterwards.

The 48-year-old says that he wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for the actions of fellow surfers who ran to his aid, performed CPR and used a nearby defibrillator until the emergency services took him to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

He was later diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator.

Among a number of organisations who want the devices registered on "The Circuit" include the British Heart Foundation.

It's the national defibrillator network connecting such devices to NHS ambulance services across the UK, so that in those important moments after a cardiac arrest they can be accessed quickly to help save lives.

In Scotland, there are around 3,200 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year in Scotland, but only one in ten people survive.

With every minute that passes without CPR or defibrillation reduces the chances of survival by up to 10% in some instances.

But immediate CPR and defibrillation can more than double the chances of survival.

The British Heart Foundation, Resuscitation Council UK, St John Ambulance and Association of Ambulance Chief Executives are urging people who look after defibrillators in places such as offices, communities, shopping centres and leisure centres, as well as in public places, to register them on "The Circuit".

In the video above from the British Heart Foundation, Bill and his wife Dr Emily Michelson talk about his story.

Picture supplied by the British Heart Foundation

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