We are absolutely delighted to announce that we now have two defibrillators on the estate! The defibrillators are housed in specially designed units that are accessible 24hrs via access codes which are accessed by contacting 999. No direct training is required to use the machines, as simple instructions are relayed from the machine. They are safe, easy to use, and designed specifically to be out in the community, so that someone can pick it up urgently and use it.
Although we do not have any actual statistics on heart related incidents in the area, media coverage and a number high profile campaigns along with parliamentary backing is thankfully seeing an increase of defibrillators in communities.
A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest. This high energy shock is called defibrillation, and it’s an essential life saving step in the chain of survival. There are many defibrillators available in public places such as train stations, shopping centres, airport and leisure centres. These defibrillators are often known as public access defibrillators (PAD) as anyone can use them in an emergency.
You shouldn’t be afraid of using a defibrillator if someone has had a cardiac arrest. There’s lots more information about obtaining and using defibrillators in the ‘Guide to Defibrillators’ document which can be found on the British Heart Foundation’s website.
How & When to use a Defib
Defibrillators are very easy to use. Although they don’t all look the same, they all function in broadly the same way. The machine gives clear spoken instructions. You don’t need training to use one. If you come across someone who is not breathing or breathing erratically, the most important thing is to call 999 and start CPR to keep the blood flowing around the body. After a cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces someone’s chance of survival by 10 per cent. If you’re on your own, don’t interrupt the CPR to go and get a defibrillator. If it’s possible, send someone else to find one. When you call 999, the operator can tell you if there’s a public access defibrillator nearby. Once the defibrillator is open and in position, all you have to do is follow the spoken instructions. Many defibrillators will also have diagrams or a screen to help you. The defibrillator detects the heart’s rhythm, it won’t deliver a shock unless one is needed.
Often you’ll need to press the shock button although some fully automatic defibrillators will deliver the shock themselves. You should resume CPR as soon as instructed by the defibrillator.
To learn how to perform CPR, follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Shake and shout
Step 2: Check for normal breathing
Step 3: Call 999
Step 4: Give 30 chest compressions
Step 5: Give two rescue breaths
Step 6: Repeat until ambulance arrives