A recent application in January to the ‘Bury Wheel’ charity has secured a generous donation of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) that was presented to Horringer Community Council. With a further provision from a village legacy an external cabinet has been purchased to house the AED. The AED has now been installed at the Horringer Community Centre for public access 24 hours a day and it is located externally near the main front door.
Sudden cardiac arrest claims around 150,000 – 200,000 lives each year in the United Kingdom, with survival rates being around 5% – 10% outside of a hospital setting.
If a person’s heart has stopped due to an accident or heart attack and is in a rhythm called ventricular fibrillation, the only way to get the heart into a more regular sustaining beat is to pass an electrical charge through the heart muscle. The first three to four minutes are the most vital for the collapsed person and, if first aid (normally chest compressions) and a defibrillator are on hand, then the chance of survival will increase considerably.
In the event of a person collapsing, a 999 call to the ambulance service is required and if necessary the ambulance will give the caller details on the exact location of the village defibrillator and how to release this.
The UK resuscitation council guidelines state that there is no requirement to be trained in the use of an AED, and that in the event of a person collapsing the non-trained person should still use the AED as the step by step voice prompts that are part of the AED talks the user through the process of what to do.
Whilst we sincerely hope that there is not cause for this new facility to be utilised, it really has the potential to save the life of any one of us or our family, friends or neighbours, so I am sure you will all agree that the kind donations that have allowed this happen are really appreciated by all in the village.
Piers Fuller (HCPC registered Paramedic)