On average, four people in Slovenia suffer cardiac arrest on a daily basis. That’s some 1,600 Slovenes each year. Immediate resuscitation could prevent several hundred deaths every year. To increase the chances of survival for residents of and visitors to the Pomurje region, the Murska Sobota regional office of Zavarovalnica Triglav has supported the purchase of three defibrillators. They will be donated to the Bodonci and Čepinci volunteer fire brigades and the local community centre of Mala Nedelja.
“We want to provide local communities with the best possible resources for quick identification and treatment of health problems and to increase the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest, all in order to create a safer future for all generations. As part of our ’For A Better Tomorrow’ New Year accident prevention campaign, the Murska Sobota regional office, in cooperation with local communities, has again this year supported the purchase of three defibrillators," said Sandi Štefan Flisar, director of Zavarovalnica Triglav’s Murska Sobota regional office.
Every second counts
The volunteer fire brigades PGD Bodonci and PGD Čepinci offer their services to two villages from which the nearest emergency medical services are 15 and 35 kilometres away respectively. KS Mala Nedelja, a local community which includes seven villages, is 15 kilometres away from the Ljutomer Medical Centre. In cases of cardiac arrest, when every second counts, such a distance can be fatal. The defibrillators therefore ensure that the inhabitants of those villages now have significantly higher chances of surviving a cardiac arrest.
“AEDs (automated external defibrillators) are used not only by first responders and professional medical staff, but also by non-professionals who have never handled a cardiac arrest before. Teenagers, children, infants, athletes and healthy people can also go into cardiac arrest, not only patients with cardiovascular diseases. It can happen to anyone,” said Aleš Jud, leader of PGD Bodonci.
KS Mala Nedelja stresses the importance of the new addition, which will be installed in the Mala Nedelja Culture Centre. “In cases of sudden cardiac arrest, a quick reaction is of the utmost importance. The chance of survival diminishes by 10% with every minute of inaction, and at the same time, the chances of brain damage increase. After 10 minutes, the chance of survival is 0%. With the new defibrillator in our community, we will be able to react immediately,” said Boštjan Žerdin, president of the KS Mala Nedelja council.
Another defibrillator will be installed at the Čepinci fire station. “The village is located in the far north of the country, and the nearest emergency service is 35 kilometres away. With its mostly elderly local population, any one of the residents might need this defibrillator at any point,” said Izidor Ožvald, leader of PGD Čepinci, commenting on the importance of the new addition.
The New Year campaign has already provided almost 20 defibrillators
The Murska Sobota regional office also contributed funds for the purchase of publicly accessible defibrillators as part of New Year accident prevention campaigns in previous years. Last year the funds went to the volunteer fire brigades of Kokoriči, Mlajtinci–Lukačevci and Dolnja Bistrica, while previous beneficiaries have been the volunteer fire brigades of Pristava and Krašči, the company Paradajz, the local communities of Lemerje and Križevci, the Moravci volunteer fire brigade, and the municipalities of Cankova, Veržej, Šalovci, Turnišče, Ljutomer, Črenšovci and Dobrovnik; also with support from Slovenia’s largest insurer, defibrillators were supplied to two popular tourist destinations in Prekmurje, namely Moravske Toplice and Banovci.
Seven years of the “For A Better Tomorrow” campaign
Slovenia’s largest insurer has been running its “For A Better Tomorrow” New Year accident prevention campaign for seven years now. In the first six years, Zavarovalnica Triglav supported more than 160 prevention projects nationwide, with a further 23 receiving support this year, making a total of more than 180. In recent years, the company have co-financed the purchase of defibrillators, an ultrasound machine, an ECG machine and other life-saving medical devices, supported a large number of other projects in the fields of healthcare, civil protection, flood mitigation and road safety, and helped numerous fire brigades around the country.