Campaign For Greater Awareness Of Defibrillators

One town in the UK is launching a campaign to raise awareness of all the locations where defibrillators are installed.

The Southport Visiter revealed that there were 180 cardiac arrests in Southport in 2016, and noted that concerns have been raised that lives could be lost not because defibrillators aren’t available, but because people don’t know where they’re installed.

In a bid to tackle this problem, Steven Pang, operation and watch manager at Southport Fire Station, is campaigning for better signage to highlight the location of defibrillators around the town.

“Signage is very cheap, and it is crucial to saving time and lives,” he told the newspaper.

He explained that he became aware of the issue of a lack of awareness about the lifesaving equipment after a pilot programme that saw the fire service team up with the North West Ambulance Service.

The news provider cited figures from the Resuscitation Council, which show that if you can use a defibrillator on someone within three to five minutes of them suffering a cardiac arrest, their chances of survival are between 50 and 70 per cent.

However, after five minutes, the survival rate falls by ten per cent for every additional minute that passes.

Another town is also raising awareness about automatic defibrillators by providing free community training on how to use the devices.

The Tamworth Herald reported on the latest session run for the local community as part of the town’s Have a Heart campaign. More than 20 people attended the training, which showed them how to use a defibrillator, as well as teaching them other lifesaving skills.

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New Automatic Defibrillator For Sarum St Paul’s School

Students and staff members at Sarum St Paul’s School in Salisbury have just been provided with a new automatic defibrillator as a key part of its first aid equipment.

Head Lizzie Weavers told the Salisbury Journal that the School Council recognised just how important it was to have a defibrillator on site and were incredibly driven where their fundraising efforts were concerned, raising more than £1,400 for the device.

“We are delighted to launch our school and local community defibrillator. This was paid for through fundraising events organised and led by our School Council,” she went on to say.

Staff have also been given training as to how to use the defibrillator, with South Western Ambulance Service coming to the school on June 26th to show them how it can be used in the event of a cardiac arrest.

Defibrillators work by restoring the heart rhythm if someone does go into cardiac arrest. The earlier it is used, the better the person in question has of surviving.

It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that while training is essential you can use these devices if you haven’t had any. You can’t shock someone accidentally if their heart is beating normally and modern devices have been designed so that even if you’ve had no medical training you can still use them.

The pads come with a diagram on them to show you where to put them on the body and a voice prompt will come on to talk you through the steps of using the machine.

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AEDs Now In All Outer Hebrides Schools

Every school in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides now has an automated external defibrillator (AED) installed, it has been announced.

The Stornoway Gazette reported on the development, noting that Scottish charity Lucky2BHere was behind the process of installing defibrillators in all the locations.

In addition to providing the devices, the charity has also been running defibrillator training sessions with children at the schools, with 874 pupils having received emergency life support training to date.

There are just four schools across the islands that have yet to receive training, although this will be delivered at some point in the future.

Speaking to the news provider, Angus McCormack, chair of the Education, Sport and Children’s Services Committee, commented: “This is an important development in providing lifesaving equipment and skills in our schools and also within our communities. I am delighted at the progress made on this initiative.”

The grant payment to Lucky2BHere, which has allowed the charity to carry out its work, was only approved in June 2016, so this is an impressive achievement in 12 months.

At the time that the £30,000 payment was approved, councillor Catriona Stewart highlighted the importance of having defibrillators available for the community, noting that all the new devices would be installed on the outside of school buildings to ensure they were available at any time and to anyone who needed them.

The founder of Lucky2BHere Ross Cowie knows just how important quick intervention is following cardiac arrest. He launched the charity after suffering a cardiac arrest himself and only being saved because an ambulance was close by at the time.

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Lightning Strike Dad Campaigns For Defibrillators

A father who was struck by lightning at a school sports day last year is campaigning for more defibrillators to be installed across Northern Ireland, particularly in primary schools.

The Belfast Telegraph reported on Geordie Allen’s story, who miraculously survived a lightning strike in 2016.

He had been attending a school sports day with two of his children, who were aged five and seven, when a sudden storm came in and he was struck by lightning. Both his children were injured in the strike, but he was in a coma for a month and lost parts of his memory when he first regained consciousness.

His wife Sharon explained that the staff at the school were amazing on the day and that the only reason he survived was because they had access to a defibrillator, which was installed at the school.

“If we didn’t have those defibrillators that day he wouldn’t be sitting here. I would have lost my husband and the kids would have lost their father,” she told the newspaper.

As a result, the couple are now starting a campaign for more defibrillators to be installed around Northern Ireland, in the hopes of saving more lives and helping other families avoid tragedy.

Belfast Live recently revealed that the pilot scheme to introduce more public-access defibrillators in the city is set to be extended.

The city council has received a substantial donation from the Murphy family, who have raised funds in memory of Mark Murphy, to provide a number of new AEDs throughout Belfast.

Have you considered running defibrillator training at your organisation? Contact one of our account managers to discuss how we can help.

Crowdfunding Campaign Launched For Milton Keynes AEDs

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched by Camphill Communities in bid to raise the money needed for two automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to be installed in two busy public spaces.

The Milton Keynes Citizen revealed that the organisation’s theatre and cafe will be the two locations to benefit from having the lifesaving devices installed.

Camphill Communities is a charity that provides a community resource for the town, with a specific focus on those with learning disabilities.

The charity is using Space Hive as the crowdfunding platform, with the aim of raising nearly £3,000 for the devices.

As well as installing the defibrillators themselves, the charity has also pledged to use some of the money raised to help raise awareness of the devices, not just at their own locations, but all public spaces.

More and more people are coming to understand the importance of quick action when someone suffers a cardiac arrest and are therefore more aware of how important AEDs can be in saving lives when used quickly.

The Malvern Gazette recently revealed that an anonymous donor had provided the money required to set up an emergency defibrillator at a popular spot among hikers, cyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts in the Malvern Hills.

Gestures like this really can save lives, and although AEDs are designed so that anyone can use them, providing training in defibrillator use and other resuscitation techniques can be invaluable for members of the community.

Have you considered an emergency defibrillator for your organisation? Contact one of our account managers to discuss how we can help.

Family Donates Thousands To Defibrillator Campaign

A family in Belfast has made a staggering donation to the city council to help it provide eight new automated external defibrillators (AEDs) across the city.

The family of Mark Murphy have raised £5,408 and want this money to be used to provide AEDs in his memory.

They have asked Belfast City Council to install one of the new devices at Cherryvale Playing Fields, which is close to their family home and used by many of those who have supported their fundraising efforts, Belfast Live reported.

A report has been submitted to the council, which recommends that it accepts the donation from the Murphy family.

“The family have also indicated that they have no strong feelings over the locations of the other defibrillators but they would be delighted if they could be geographically spread over the city,” it states.

This donation will enable the council to extend its AED pilot programme. In the first phase, six of the lifesaving devices were installed in parks around Belfast in 2016. Phase two will see nine more AEDs located throughout the city.

With the additional money, a third phase can now go ahead, providing more defibrillators that could help save lives in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.

In February, Belfast Live reported on research from the British Heart Foundation Northern Ireland (BHF NI), which revealed that one young person in the country dies every month due to an undiagnosed heart condition.

The charity stressed that more research needs to be carried out into what causes these undetected heart conditions, which can lead to sudden deaths.

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Co-op Joins Defibrillator Fundraising

The Co-op store in Beaminster, Dorset, is supporting local fundraising efforts to install a defibrillator in the Square.

View News reported that the Co-op held an Easter raffle, raising £180 towards the piece of lifesaving equipment, but that the branch of the nationwide store hasn’t finished helping out just yet.

It is also donating one per cent of customer spend on own-brand products in store towards the community fund, which will raise money for the defibrillator, as well as two other local causes.

The other causes benefiting from the Co-op’s fundraising efforts are the Beaminster Scouts and Mosterton Preschool. The way the firm’s community fund works is that all donations are split equally between the causes, unless the customer specifies that they’d like their contribution to go to a particular fund.

James Peach, manager at the Beaminster Co-op, explained that the store wanted to back the defibrillator fund, which was why it donated the proceeds of the raffle towards the equipment. At a later date, it was also added to the community funds scheme.

Office administrator at Beaminster Town Council Samantha Pearce told the news provider that the council is already preparing people for having the defibrillator in place.

“We did a training session for residents in September, which was really good and inspired us to get one,” she stated.

Defibrillator training is an important part of any project to install public-access AEDs, as it gives people confidence to use them. Earlier this year, Llanidloes Rotary Club ran free defibrillator training for people in the local area to raise awareness of the AED it had installed, and how to use it.

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New Defibrillator Bought Anonymously For Malvern Hills Hotel

The Malvern Hills Hotel – one of the busiest places in the Malvern Hills and just over the road from the British Camp car park – has just had its first defibrillator installed, thanks to an anonymous benefactor.

The device has now been fixed to a wall at the hotel and is accessible to anyone in an emergency that involves a cardiac arrest, the Malvern Gazette reports. In addition, staff at the hotel have also been receiving resuscitation training, while the hotel itself is looking to encourage and support local interest groups to get involved in this kind of skillset.

Speaking to the news source, chairman of Heartstart Malvern Richard Vakis-Lowe said: “This is the most extraordinary act of kindness. British Camp is a location where we have wanted to have defibrillator coverage for some time. Thanks to the selfless generosity of our donor and then the enthusiasm and support of Matthew Cooke at the Malvern Hills Hotel, the project came together in an instant.”

For those who work in rural areas, it can be hard to find access to a defibrillator in the case of an emergency – but thanks to technological advancements, drone defibs could soon become a commonplace sight around the UK.

A recent investigation by industrial engineer at the University of Toronto Timothy Chan found that drones could reach patients quicker than ambulances and cut response times in half. Rural regions could see response times drop from 19 minutes to nine, which would no doubt help save many lives.

Have you considered an AED defibrillator for your organisation? Contact one of our account managers to discuss how we can help.

Drones Deliver Life Saving Defibrillators

Your AED training could come in use on more occasions than you may have realised if plans to deliver defibrillators by drone come into effect.

There have already been trials done of delivery of defibrillators by drone in Sweden, which have shown some promise.

Speed is of the essence for people suffering a heart attack and using a drone has been shown to get the lifesaving equipment to people up to 16 minutes quicker than emergency services can get to a person, the pilot in Sweden showed.

Carried out near the Swedish capital of Stockholm, the researchers from the Karlininska Institutet showed than the drone could be used by the emergency services, being controlled and guided using GPS and cameras.

“Saving 16 minutes is likely to be clinically important. Nonetheless, further test flights, technological development, and evaluation of integration with dispatch centres and aviation administrators are needed,” the authors of the report told the Daily Mail.

Drones have been deployed for a wide range of jobs including surveying bridges in the construction industry to see if they need fixing, through to being used for researchers to carry out surveillance in hard to reach areas.

This instance is not the first time that drones have been used to help the emergency services.

They have for example already been deployed by fire services in this country, to allow the service to investigate the spread and severity of a fire safely.

Manchester fire services specifically uses them at night, to see in the dark.

Bystander CPR Intervention ‘Reduces Risk Of Brain Damage’ After Heart Attacks

When someone suffers a heart attack, immediate medical attention is vital if they’re to survive and not be left with life-changing conditions as a result. And now new research from Aalborg University Hospital in Denmark has found that when a bystander performs CPR or uses a defibrillator on someone in cardiac arrest, the benefits of this intervention last for at least a year.

These two procedures can, in fact, reduce the long-term risk of death from any cause, as well as nursing home admission and brain damage by a third in those still alive one month after a heart attack, Reuters reports.

Speaking to the news source, co-author of the study Dr Kristian Kragholm said: “If bystanders intervened by starting chest compression, survivors were less likely to experience brain damage or be admitted to a nursing home. And with an AED (automated external defibrillator), the benefit was even greater.”

He went on to say that the results of this study are further evidence of what can be achieved by those who do witness cardiac arrests and why government should work harder to put more defibrillators in public places and also make resuscitation training for members of the public a requirement.

It would also be wise for governments to focus on tackling the bystander effect, a social psychological phenomenon that sees people less likely to offer help in an emergency when others are around. The greater the number of people, the less likely it is that someone will actually offer help – which could prove fatal in the event of a cardiac arrest.