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Barcelona Metro ensures emergency heart protection for commuters

Barcelona Metro ensures emergency heart protection for commuters

Automatic defibrillators will be installed in all of the subway stations by the end of the year

Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) has begun installing defibrillation devices in the stations of the eight subway lines of the city as a measure to prevent sudden cardiac arrest deaths. The plan is that by the end of the year they will be available throughout the entire network. 

The devices are of the automatic external defibrillator (AED) type, which detects and acts in the event of cardiorespiratory arrest caused by arrhythmia or ventricular tachycardia, and can be used by anyone - even if they do not have health training.

Quick action is essential with cardiac arrests

Cardiovascular disease causes 30% of all deaths in the world and is a major public health problem, affecting people of all ages and conditions. In Catalonia, cardiac arrests occur mainly (70%) in public places and cause five deaths every day on average.

In addition to the prevention and dissemination of healthy habits, an effective way to prevent these premature deaths is the dissemination of defibrillators in public spaces so that they can be used within 10 minutes after the heart attack, a time that is decisive for the survival of the person.

In the first phase, the installation of the AEDs took place last week in the 24 metro stations that also serve as interchange with other rail transports and are therefore the most frequented within a network, in which under normal conditions there are 1.3 million daily commutes.

The devices are placed inside boxes in the central sector of the platforms or on the central platform, in case the station has them. They also have a GPS in order to detect them if they are being used. Along with the installation of the device, signs are also placed at different points in the station to help users find it in case of need.

To facilitate a quick and safe use of the defibrillator, the user only has to follow the sound instructions that the device itself is giving. In addition, a pushbutton allows direct communication with 112 so that at the same time medical services will be sent to the place of the incident. There is also the possibility of communicating with the subway control center via the SOS button on the intercoms next to each defibrillator.

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