Defibrillation and Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Factors leading to successful outcomes of Sudden Cardiac Arrest include good quality CPR and the application of an electric shock by an Automatic External Defibrillator. Defibrillation is most likely to succeed if the patient is shocked within the first three minutes after collapse. The success rate of Defibrillation reduces by 7 - 10% per minute*.

What is an AED?
An AED, or automated external defibrillator, is used to help those experiencing Sudden Cardiac Arrest. It is a sophisticated, portable, easy to use medical device that can analyse the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electric shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective heart rhythm.

* Cummins R.O. 1989. From concept to standard-of-care? Review of the clinical experience with automated external defibrillators. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 18: 1269-75.
“It’s great to have them sitting there but there’s no point in them being there if the batteries or pads are not working”

On the 6th of March 2020, the week before pandemic restrictions put a halt to club activities, former Wicklow county player Don Jackman was taking part in training with his Coolkenno club teammates when he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. Don can’t recall the events of the day when he suffered the health scare and says he has his clubmates to thank for their quick intervention to reach for a defibrillator when he collapsed.

“They had to use the defibrillator nine times before they got a response” he said. Luckily the defibrillator was serviced and had the battery and pads changed only a few months earlier, meaning it was ready when needed. The Lifepak® CR2 chosen for the GAA Community Hearts Programme is connected to the internet via the mobile phone network meaning it will notify you should the battery or pads need to be changed. “It’s great to have them sitting there but there’s no point in them being there if the batteries or pads are not working” said Don.

Don was discharged from hospital with an implantable defibrillator fitted a few weeks later and although the sudden end of his club football is a blow, he is grateful for his many achievements and to his club mates for saving his life.

Don Jackman
Coolkenno, Co Wicklow
Community Heart Program

A community initiative by Stryker

The team at Stryker have developed a bespoke community fundraising platform that has been built specifically for the purpose of community fundraising for AEDs. We understand that within our community there are many organisations that give so much to their members. The ability for many of these organisations to fund an AED can be challenging. 

The Community Heart Program allows not for profit, sporting and other charities across the UK and Ireland to apply for the opportunity to run an online fundraising campaign using Stryker’s white labelled platform to raise the funds required to obtain an AED for their own community. Once approved, the organisation will be given the opportunity to tailor the platform to suit their own branding and organisational requirements. The organisation will then be connected with one of Stryker’s Distribution Partners who will provide delivery of the AEDs in line with fundraising targets being met.

Community heart program logo

Please contact the GAA with any queries regarding the Community Heart Program at

If you have any questions about your Club's fundraising page please contact JustGiving at

Frequently asked questions

We have tried to answer all of your commonly asked questions in the FAQ. However, if you can’t find the information you’re looking for please direct queries regarding the Community Heart Program at