The Heartstart Thatcham Defibrillator team installed their fourth Public Access Defibrillator recently at Holybrook. The device has been installed as a result of a partnership between Heartstart Thatcham, West Berkshire Council, West berkshire Neighbourhood Wardens and Holybrook Parsih Council.
The defibrillator and has been placed on the side of Parish Office and is available 24/7. The code to access it will be given out by South Central Ambulance Service when necessary.
A defibrillator is a device that is used on a person who is in cardiac arrest. A cardiac arrest, which is different to a heart attack, is where the heart is no longer pumping blood around the body. This requires immediate CPR and where possible the use of a defibrillator; performing CPR and using a defibrillator will increase the chance of survival. Nick was keen to highlight several facts and noted that “you do not need any training to use the device and you cannot misuse it. The defibrillator will deliver a shock to the casualty only if they need it; in other words it will not let you shock them unless they need a shock.”
The way this works in reality is; Assume you have seen someone collapse to the floor and you are unable to get a response from him or her. To start with you would not know the person is in cardiac arrest so you call 999. If the casualty is not breathing, the operator will get you to check if you have not done so, you would be instructed to start CPR and someone told to go and get a defibrillator if there is one available nearby. Once a defibrillator is on scene you can then follow the instructions of the defibrillator or get the operator on the phone to walk you through the process. The crucial step here and in any medical emergency situation is dialing 999 as soon as possible.
Nick gave a demonstration of using the device to the team with members of the team also trying the training system for themselves.
Please note in any medical emergency your first priority is to dial 999.