Does Your Golf Club Have a Defibrillator?

By: | Thu 07 Dec 2017 | Comments


Does your golf club have a defibrillator on site? Do you even know where it is? It could make a difference and save lives. New research by St John Ambulance has discovered that potentially seven out of 10 people who suffer a cardiac arrest could survive if they are treated by a defibrillator within the first five minutes. However, more than half of British people (53%) are unaware of where their nearest lifesaving equipment is.

This is a startling statistic, revealed by the first aid charity who have warned that despite there being more than 30,000 people suffering cardiac arrests each year in the UK, the country is lagging behind other nations across the world when it comes to understanding of how to respond to them.

St John’s comprehensive survey highlights that 61% of people wouldn’t know what to do if faced with a cardiac arrest; and while 81% are aware of what a defibrillator does, 70% of people would not feel confident using one, in addition to a shocking 62% incorrectly believing that it could cause harm to a patient.

As 80% of out of hospital cardiac arrests occur at home, St John Ambulance has announced the launch of its C.A.R.E for a Heart campaign – four steps to learn in advance, to give you and your loved ones the best chance of survival.


C         Closest defibrillator  

Find your closest defibrillator

A         Arrest?

Be ready to spot the signs of cardiac arrest

R         Resuscitate

Know how to resuscitate using CPR

E         Early defibrillation  

Early defibrillation gives the best chance of survival


“Our research shows that while most people have some awareness of defibrillators, we still have a long way to go in educating people about what they need to do in a cardiac emergency,’ said St John Ambulance director James Radford. 

“Home is where the heart is; it’s also where the majority of cardiac arrests happen, outside of hospital, which means it’s more likely to be our friends, family – or even ourselves – who need first aid in this life or death moment.

“None of us want to find ourselves in a situation where we couldn’t save a loved one’s life, any more than we’d want them to stand by helpless if we suffered a cardiac arrest.’ 

 “That’s why we are urging everybody to learn the four simple steps of C.A.R.E today; so that if the worst happens tomorrow, we can all act quickly and confidently, especially when every second counts.”

This has relevance for golfers, as of the 3,000 golf clubs and courses across the UK, only a third of them have a defibrillator. The Bernard Gallacher Defibrillator Campaign was launched to raise awareness and bring equipment to those clubs that didn’t yet possess one on site. In 2013, the Ryder Cup legend suffered a cardiac arrest at a dinner in Aberdeen, and his life was saved thanks in large part to the quick and effective use of an Automated External Defibrillator.

With golf courses often being isolated from cities or hospitals, the need for early treatment for cardiac arrests is even more apparent, and the Campaign supported by the Arrhythmia Alliance and the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) is looking to address that situation, and has already done significant work since it began in 2014.

If your golf club doesn’t have a defibrillator, ask, raise the issue and ensure it’s accessible and that both staff and members are confident in how to use the equipment that could make a vital difference and save the life of someone taken ill on the course or in the clubhouse.

St John Ambulance has made simple, fun, and shareable videos, to help you learn the C.A.R.E steps, visit www.sja.org.uk/care to watch and share.


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