We now have defibrillators in all our owned stores – here’s what to know

We’re working with British Heart Foundation to help respond to cardiac arrests.

In the UK, more than 30,000 cardiac arrests take place outside hospitals every year – including in people’s homes, public spaces and shops. A cardiac arrest is when a person's heart stops pumping blood around their body and they stop breathing.

If someone experiences one while not in hospital, the survival rate is just 1 in 10. But their chances are much better if they’re treated quickly with a defibrillator alongside CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), rather than having to wait for emergency services to arrive.

Also known as AEDs, defibrillators are vital – which is why we equipped 500 Virgin Media engineers with them in 2021. Now, we’ve rolled out AEDs in every O2-owned store across the UK – more than 200 units – which are available and registered on the BHF’s National Defibrillator Network, The Circuit. Read on to find out why this is so important, and how you can take action to help someone having a cardiac arrest.

person on the floor

We’re responding to the risk of cardiac arrest

To help someone who’s in cardiac arrest survive, a defibrillator needs to be used as quickly as possible. AEDs give a high-energy electric shock to the heart, and for every minute it takes a defibrillator to reach someone and deliver a shock, their chances of survival lower. That’s why you’ll now find a defibrillator in all our owned stores. When someone goes into cardiac arrest, 999 call-handlers can direct bystanders to the nearest registered defibrillator while they wait for the ambulance to arrive. If you’re alone with someone who’s gone into cardiac arrest, you shouldn’t leave them to find a defibrillator – the ambulance will bring one.

defibrillators on a dummy

Our staff are being trained up

Every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces the chance of survival by up to 10%. O2 is rolling out BHF’s first-of-its-kind CPR training tool RevivR to its staff, to help in an emergency. Hundreds of O2 staff across the UK have already been trained in how to use a defibrillator with help from British Heart Foundation. We’re encouraging even more staff, including those in front-line store positions, to get trained in 2023.

British Heart Foundation website on a phone screen

You can learn CPR skills, too

It’s not just defibrillators that can help if someone experiences a cardiac arrest – performing CPR can more than double the chances of survival in some cases. That’s why we’ve made sure British Heart Foundation’s RevivR online course is zero-rated, meaning O2 customers can access it on their phone or tablet without using any data. You can learn lifesaving CPR in just 15 minutes, free with RevivR. It couldn’t be simpler – you just need your mobile phone and a cushion to practise on.

person holding a phone

Want to learn more?

The British Heart Foundation website is filled with useful resources. You can find out more about CPR and defibrillators, as well as information and support for heart and circulatory diseases. In addition to the BHF website, we have also zero-rated the NHS GoodSAM app. This is used to alert nearby community first responders when someone is suffering a cardiac arrest, so they can start CPR in the critical minutes before the emergency services arrive at the scene. And O2 customers can access this vital tool without using any data.

Published: 9 Feb 2023