Some of you may have noticed the appearance of a yellow box with a green light in the old phone box in North Woodchester (at the end of Southfield Road). This is a defibrillator, which has been installed by the Community Heartbeat Trust and is now available for use by any member of the public.
The target set by the government is for ambulances to reach 75% of incidents within 8 minutes. In rural areas this can be difficult to achieve. Statistics show that early defibrillation can increase the survival chances of a person who has suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest by as much as 50%. Sudden Cardiac Arrest can take many forms, one of the most common is for the heart to enter a particular form of fibrillation. The patient may suffer crushing chest pains, lose consciousness and stop breathing. Prompt use of a defibrillator can greatly improve the chances of survival in this case.
In the event of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest the guidance is to call 999 immediately and start chest compressions, you should remain with the patient, but if there is another person present they can retrieve the defibrillator and start to use it. The 999 service will give a code to open the defibrillator cabinet.
The defibrillator is equipped with a video screen which gives full instructions for use and is designed so that any untrained person can use it. However, as people will no doubt wish to have more information a familiarisation session will be arranged in the next few months.
If there are any questions or concerns do please contact Nigel Brooke-Smith 872586.