A HIQA report published in December 2014 has outlined that over 50 lives can be saved yearly by providing defibrillators in public places.
Former Minister for Health James Reilly commissioned the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to undertake and assessment of defibrillators as a result of accepting The Public Health (Availability of Defibrillators) Bill 2013 published by Senator Quinn. The Bill requires that owners of 43,000 premises install a defibrillator if they are part of a designated area. The locations that are required to install the life saving devices include hospitals, shops, bus and train stations and sports clubs.
HIQA's Director of Health Technology Assessment Dr. Mairin Ryan stated that the Bill "would involve the provision of between 2,000 and 38,000 additional defibrillators and would save between two and 10 additional lives annually, at a total cost of between €5.3 million and €105 million over the first five years."
“As well as examining the programme outlined in the Bill, we also evaluated a number of scaled down programmestargeting only those building types with the highest incidence of cardiac arrest. Today in Ireland between 8,000 and 10,000 defibrillators are available, including at many of the high incidence locations where cardiac incidents are most likely to happen.”
“Targeted placing of defibrillators in higher incidence locations and a national defibrillator register linked to emergency medical services, together with significantly increased use of defibrillators via heightened public awareness, could render public access defibrillation programmes more cost-effective."
The full report can be read on the HIQA website.