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Bra barrier to sudden cardiac arrest treatment

In the realm of First Aid training, every second counts when it comes to saving lives during sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

However, shocking statistics reveal that women suffering from SCA are 27% less likely to receive correct defibrillator pad placement due to concerns over bra removal.

Anna Hook, the quality and compliance director of Edify Training, is taking a proactive stance to address this alarming issue “chest on”. Her mission is to join with others championing the “bra off defib on” movement within the First Aid community, striving to ensure correct AED for all.

The realisation that a woman’s life could hang in the balance when they suffer a cardiac arrest due to hesitation over removing a bra before defibrillation is nothing short of staggering.

Anna Hook

Hook recognises the gravity of this concern and emphasises the need for immediate action. “The message is clear,” she says. “the bra needs to come off to give the best chance of survival, and we need to make that a higher priority message within training.”

Anna’s determination to make a difference was ignited during her own recent Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training sessions with first aid specialist and Edify Associate, Jenny Legg.

Legg has been a driving force behind the campaign to integrate “bra off defib on” training into standard first aid practices. This crucial campaign is steadily gaining traction, thanks to Jenny’s dedication and Anna has joined the commitment.

Hook is now spearheading the charge at Edify Training. Recognising the urgency of the issue, Anna and her team are implementing modified First Aid training plans that address the “bra off defib on” technique. Moreover, new training manikins are being introduced to simulate real-world scenarios, allowing trainees to practice swift and efficient defibrillator pad placement even in challenging situations.

This initiative dovetails perfectly with ongoing discussions in the medical community. First aid training never stands still, and such efforts reflect a forward-thinking approach that combines evidence-based practices with real-world concerns.

“We don’t care if you “expose” us at the scene, we’re happy that you’re trying to save our life!”


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WASHCO are national specialists in commercial laundry equipment, installing, advising and repairing across the UK from regional hubs.