The local business Bewley Homes offered two automated external defibrillators (AED) for Reading Football Club, making the Madejski Stadium a safer place for supporters. With major events taking place every year there, the new equipment will help them deal better in case of emergency life threatening incidents.

When someone experiences a sudden cardiac arrest, a condition which sees the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stop beating, the AED can be used to shock the heart and restore the normal heart rhythm. A heart attack and a cardiac arrest are two different conditions. While a heart attack is caused by the plumbing of the heart, the cardiac arrest happens because of an electric problem within the heart and the only way to restore the rhythm is with the help of an AED.

“Sudden cardiac arrest kills approximately 100,000 people in the UK every year…that is more than 270 people per day! In fact, it is responsible for more deaths than lung cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined,” explains Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder and CEO of Arrhythmia Alliance. “Arrhythmia Alliance wants to make sure our loved ones, colleagues and friends are as safe as possible with an AED nearby.”

Many public spaces, including the Madejski Stadium now, have an AED as part of their first aid equipment. It can be found in train stations, airports, offices, and schools, and are easily identified by their noticeable green casing and green sign above each device. It can also be used without training because of the machine’s ability to analyse a person’s heart rhythm and visually and audibly guiding people through each step.

Andrew Brooks, Managing Director at Bewley Homes, said that this gift is their way of giving back to the local community that has supported them through the years and making sure that the defibrillators will help save lives.