THE Scottish Ambulance Service has invested half a million pounds in “shock boxes” for all of its patient transport vehicles.
All 450 vehicles used by the service will be equipped with the boxes, which will enable quicker life-saving support for patients in Scotland.
Shock boxes can identify what is necessary to save a cardiac patient when applied to them and will deliver the appropriate level of charge.
They are fully automated and no training is needed.
The boxes will provide further resilience to the new defibrillators that were bought recently for Scotland’s emergency ambulance fleet.
By including them in patient transport vehicles, the service is creating an additional 450 responders which can intervene in potentially life-or-death situations.
A spokesman for the ambulance service said the added capacity increases the potential to save lives, particularly in rural communities where geography and distance are factors.
Pauline Howie, chief executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service, said: “In a cardiac emergency the early application of an automated shock box while the ambulance is on its way can save a life.
“The introduction of 450 of these devices across Scotland will enhance community resilience and has the potential to make a real difference in remote and rural areas.”
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said commended the introduction of the devices.
She said: “The ambulance service is at the frontline of patient care throughout Scotland and these shock boxes will help to further enhance the service they offer.
“Emergency ambulances already carry lifesaving defibrillators and today’s announcement means that patient transport crews will also have the equipment to enable them to save lives.”
The Scottish Ambulance Service carries out over 1.5 million patient journeys each year.