A valuable contribution to saving lives

Lek donates funds for the purchase of two defibrillators

7. 4. 2005

The Slovenian Heart Foundations is placing automatic defibrillators in public places in Slovenia so that lay people can also provide first aid and save the lives of heart attack victims.

In Slovenia between 3000 and 4000 people die sudden deaths each year. The cause of the majority of these fatalities is stoppage of the heart, as a consequence of a major arrhythmia. Many of these deaths and their consequences could be avoided through immediate first aid – reestablishing the heartbeat. First aid must be provided within a few minutes, but we know that it often takes longer for well-equipped ambulances to get to patients in heavy traffic.

Modern technology has therefore followed the needs of the population and produced a device which automatically restarts the heart. They are called defibrillators. They are simple to use and can easily be mastered by lay people.

On Health Day, Lek improved the possibilities of survival for victims of heartbeat disturbances, donating funds to the Slovenian Heart Foundation for the purchase of two defibrillators. The Foundation will place one in the For the Heart office, located in the Maximarket passageway, and the other will travel around Slovenia. They will be used by affiliates of the Slovenian Heart Foundation in campaigns which include larger numbers of people.

On the occasion, Dr. Josip Turk, cardiologist and Honorary Chairman of the Slovenian Heart Foundation stated: “Time is life! In sudden stoppage of the heart the greatest danger is that the brain will not receive oxygen. After just 4 minutes it begins to expire. Therefore it is extremely important that heart attack victims receive help immediately. These defibrillators which Lek has donated, which are located in public places and about which the public has been informed, will make this possible.”

Chairman of the Foundation Danica Rotar Pavlič spoke about the increasing importance of the work of non-governmental organizations in improving health care. “Medicine is becoming more and more expensive, rehabilitation has undergone unimagined development in recent years but it also requires more and more funds. Therefore we have to try to ensure that the damage which occurs during heart attacks is as small as possible so that patients require as little rehabilitation as possible. This is made possible by automatic defibrillators. I am very happy that Lek Pharmaceuticals is supporting the increased possibility of survival and decreased damage for the health of Slovenes.”

Andreja Žerdoner, Head of Sales Slovenia at Lek Pharmaceuticals, added: “At Lek we have committed ourselves as a pharmaceutical company to contribute to the best of our ability to increasing the quality of people’s lives and improved treatment. Therefore we are involved in the activities of several associations in Slovenia which provide better conditions for patients.

We have collaborated closely with the Slovenian Heart Foundation for many years. Therefore we have responded to their proposal for the purchase of the defibrillators. Through this action we also demonstrate the commitment of Lek, a new Sandoz company, to remain closely connected with the local Slovene environment, the development of healthcare profession, and the improvement of conditions in Slovene health care, and to contribute to creating a better quality of life in the broadest sense of the word.”

The Slovenian Heart Foundation is also planning to organize courses in basic resuscitation procedures and the use of automatic defibrillators for individual groups of people whose jobs are often performed in public places: sports coaches, security guards, teachers, educators. These trained laics will be able to save lives.

Additional information: Slovenian Heart Foundation,
Dunajska 65, Ljubljana.
T: 01/436 95 62, 01/436 95 63 (every weekday from 8 am to 2 pm)
F: 01/436 12 66,
E: drustvo.zasrce@siol.net
TOLL-FREE TELEPHONE – cardiologist: Dr. Boris Cibic
Toll-free telephones for callers on 031, 041 and 051 networks: 031/334 334 (every weekday from 12 am to 2 pm).
Cardiological forum: http://med.over.net/phorum/list.php?f=103
Association website: http://zasrce.over.net