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A new project is currently being organised jointly by the department of Cardiology (Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast) and Public Health (Queens University Belfast).

This project begins in October 2006 and will involve training local members of the community to resuscitate people from sudden cardiac arrests occurring outside hospital, using Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

The greatest cause of death in the developed world is heart disease, and in the majority of cases this manifests itself as cardiac arrest, most frequently occurring outside hospital.

It has been shown that lives can be saved by administering an electric current across the heart (defibrillation) with a machine called a defibrillator.

With every passing minute, the chances for the victim's survival decrease 10%.

Evidence shows that the sooner defibrillation occurs after the individual collapses the greater the chance of survival.