Posted on Wednesday 20 November 2013 by Ulster Business

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Northern Ireland defibrillator manufacturer HeartSine Technologies has landed a multi-million pound contract to supply life-saving defibrillators to the Singapore Ministry of Defence.

In one of the company's largest orders to date, almost 1,900 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) have been purchased by the country's Armed Forces after a competitive tendering process involving all the major AED brands.

HeartSine is the only company to design, develop and manufacture AEDs, which deliver a shock to the heart to restore a normal rhythm following cardiac arrest, in the UK or Ireland. The devices are made in Belfast and exported to 40 countries around the world in more than 20 languages.

Every Singapore military camp, more than 50 in total, will now have HeartSine defibrillators installed.

Chief Executive of HeartSine Technologies, Declan O'Mahoney said: "This is our biggest contract in Singapore and follows the placing of HeartSine devices in the Singapore Civil Defence Force, Singapore Parliament and the Ministry of Health."

He added: "Every military camp in Singapore – for all land, air and sea troops – will now have our defibrillators installed. This will ensure that extremely easy to use, life saving AEDs are always readily available should they need to be used."

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) occurs when blood stops flowing around the body and the heart stops beating unexpectedly. SCA claims the lives of 270 people every single day in the UK. If someone suffers SCA, their chances of survival using Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation are around 5%, but, combined with the use of a defibrillator, this can rise to 75%.

HeartSine was co-founded by the late Professor John Anderson who, working in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast in the 1960s in a team brought together by clinician Dr. Frank Pantridge, led the work to develop technology to create the first portable defibrillators for use outside hospitals.

The company's modern AEDs now talk responders through the entire 'save' process step by step until professional medical assistance arrives, meaning the devices can be used even by those with no previous first aid training.

HeartSine's reputation has been growing in recent years, with its defibrillators deployed everywhere from the European Parliament Buildings in Brussels, George Best Belfast City Airport, on board American Airlines aircraft and even at the White House. One of its AEDs was famously used to help keep footballer Fabrice Muamba alive after he suffered SCA during a match.

There are almost 8,000 cases of SCA in Singapore each year, with over one thousand deaths reported in 2011.

Don Mok, Chief Executive of HTM Medico, the HeartSine distributor in Singapore who secured the contract, said: "SCA can happen to anyone, including those who are young and physically fit, just like our soldiers.

"Having life-saving defibrillators at hand really will be the difference between life and death for our all members of our valued Armed Forces."

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