Health minister Patricia Gómez at the Sunday event for resuscitation.

05-05-2019Javier Padilla

The Balearic government is finalising a decree by which it will become obligatory to have defibrillators in busy public areas.

Health minister Patricia Gómez said on Sunday that the wording was agreed last week and that the decree is to be put out to public consultation this week. It sets out the criteria for public and indeed private establishments to have defibrillators. Gómez recognises that final approval of the decree will need to wait until after the elections and will be one of the first initiatives for the next administration.

There are seven regions in Spain which currently do not have regulations that make defibrillators obligatory in public areas, the Balearics being one of them.

The head of the 061 health emergency service, José María Álvarez, says that some 440 people in the Balearics die each year because of sudden death.

In 70% of cases there are alerts to the emergency services, but only in 25% of cases is there cardiopulmonary resuscitation prior to ambulances arriving: this is normally provided by police.

Gómez was speaking at an event for resuscitation at Palma Arena. The health ministry wants there to be more such events so that members of the public can learn resuscitation techniques. At present, non-professionals manage to resuscitate around 30% of people who have suffered heart failure. In certain countries, e.g. Scandinavian, the figure is much higher - up to 80%.

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