Netherlands sees sharp increase in AEDs, first aid volunteers

Automatic external defibrillator
Automatic external defibrillator. (Photo:

The number of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) and civilian first aid volunteers in the Netherlands increased sharply this past year. The Heart Foundation praises the people who followed a resuscitation course or purchased an AED with their neighborhood, AD reports.

Currently there are almost 18 thousand AEDs in the Netherlands, 45 percent more than last year. Around 70 percent of these resuscitation devices are available 24 hours a day. The number of first aid volunteers increased by more than a third to 225 thousand people. These volunteers can be called up through a system to give aid or bring an AED to a victim in the neighborhood. On average the volunteers arrive at the scene 2.5 minutes before the emergency services.

According to Floris Italianer, director of the Heart Foundation, around 17 thousand people have a heart attack outside the hospital in the Netherlands each year. Thanks to the volunteers and AEDs, these victims now have a much better chance of surviving.