Coinciding with the celebration of World Heart Day on 29 September, the Hefame Foundation and Telefónica have reached an agreement to provide Hefame’s 5,500 pharmacies in Madrid, Catalonia, Valencia, Castilla-La Mancha, Murcia and Andalusia with a Comprehensive Cardioprotection Service.
This service, which will be offered through Hefame’s H+ Services department, will enable pharmacies to become cardioprotected spaces prepared to immediately attend to people who may eventually go into cardiac arrest in their area of influence, company sources reported in a press release.
This includes the installation of state-of-the-art immediate assistance devices (defibrillators) in pharmacies. In the event of a cardiac emergency, the defibrillator immediately and automatically performs a medical examination of the affected person’s state of health and, if it detects that cardiac arrest has occurred, the defibrillator will administer an electric shock capable of restoring the victim’s normal heart rhythm and send a call to ‘1-1-2’. Otherwise, the intelligent defibrillator informs that the shock is not necessary and indicates the guidelines to follow.
H+ Cardioprotection, the name of the new service, also includes advice on the most suitable location for the defibrillator in each pharmacy, training for pharmacy professionals in the use of the tool and in resuscitation techniques to know how to act in each case, following the protocols established in each autonomous community, signage and certification of the pharmacy as a ‘Cardioprotected Space’ or maintenance and conservation 365 days a year, among others.
Jordi Giné, Director of Key Accounts and Public Administrations at Telefónica East, emphasised that “we are celebrating World Heart Day by announcing this agreement with the Hefame Foundation through which Telefónica is making this new exclusive cardioprotection service available to its network of pharmacies, providing them with state-of-the-art defibrillators, maintenance service and training, with the aim of turning pharmacies into cardioprotected spaces capable of offering immediate attention in the event of this condition. Rapid assistance in the event of a cardiac accident saves lives”.
For his part, the secretary of the Hefame Foundation, Carlos Fernández, is convinced that the installation of these devices and the availability of the service “will become a differentiating element for pharmacies as it is a tool that can really save lives, is clearly humanitarian in nature and keeps the pharmacy geolocated for its regular and potential patients”.
The participation of pharmacies in the project will reinforce their healthcare character “and allow them to protect against the effects of this sudden condition, which is particularly relevant given the high incidence of cardiovascular diseases among the population, especially sudden cardiac death, considered the leading cause of death in the Western world,” says Fernández. In addition, the secretary adds that part of the cost of the defibrillation equipment installed in pharmacies will be allocated to projects of social and health interest.
Currently, it is estimated that up to 275,000 people suffer cardiac arrest in Europe each year. In Spain, around 30,000 people die of cardiac arrest each year. Outside the hospital setting, where most sudden cardiac deaths occur, the chance of survival in Spain is between 5% and 10%, while in other European countries it is as high as 30%. The highest probability of suffering a cardiac arrest is between birth and 6 months of age, and between 45 and 74 years of age.
Rapid assistance in the event of a cardiac arrest saves lives. Adequate care in the event of cardiorespiratory arrest requires a rapid reaction and the early application of measures as a chain of survival, including recognition of the situation and activation of the health emergency system, basic life support manoeuvres, early electrical defibrillation and the rapid implementation of advanced life support techniques.
The health objective of this initiative is to ensure that every 250 metres there is a defibrillator with qualified personnel to cover the first needs in the event of a cardiovascular accident, which will be helped by Hefame pharmacies becoming public access health prevention centres through this integral cardioprotection service.