GROCERY giant Asda has installed vital medical devices in its Hampshire stores which could save shoppers’ lives.
The leading chain has set up heart defibrillator units in four of its city stores to protect its customers.
The investment is part of a national partnership with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to become the first major retailer to offer the lifesaving devices in all its stores.
They are used to help revive people who have suffered a cardiac arrest by enabling users to administer electric shocks to the heart.
It comes as the Daily Echo continues its campaign to get defibrillators in schools across Hampshire after a 16-year-old pupil at a Romsey school was saved with a defibrillator when he suffered a heart attack.
Mountbatten School teachers shocked Sam Mangoro with the device four times, keeping his heart beating until paramedics arrived.
Staff at the four stores have also been trained in CPR to offer vital treatment before ambulances arrive.
Asda is investing £500,000 into the scheme nationwide.
The firm aims to install a defibrillator at all its 568 stores and 25 depots and offices before the end of the year and train 12,000 staff in CPR.
Kate Main, from the company’s community team, said: “We want people in Southampton to have the best chance of survival if a cardiac arrest strikes.
“It can take a number of minutes for an ambulance to reach one of our stores in response to an emergency like a cardiac arrest. Our investment in providing defibrillators could significantly cut the amount of time a cardiac arrest sufferer has to wait for CPR and defibrillation, giving them the best possible chance of survival.”
BHF corporate fundraising head Amit Aggarwal said: “Asda’s bold commitment will be instrumental in helping communities up and down the country access the life-saving support they need in an emergency. This could mean the difference between life and death.”
The units have been installed at Asda stores in The Marlands, Southampton, West End, Totton and Eastleigh.