Heartstart Thatcham have been working with Kennet School and were recently able to donate to them a defibrillator. 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 together increase the chance of survival significantly. No training is requred to use the device and it cannot be misused. The defibrillator will deliver a shock to a casualty only if it is needed; in other words it will not let you shock them unless they need a shock. Scheme co-ordinator, Dr Nick Young, said “we want to protect people and give them a fighting chance should a cardiac arrest happen. Placing one in the school not only protects staff and pupils but will also protect the surrounding residents.”
Members of the team have been in to train staff with headmaster, Mr Paul Dick joining them. In addition pupils have been shown what the device is, many also trying the training defibrillator themselves and being shown clearly that it cannot be misused. Nick said that “working with the school has not only allowed us to educate pupils about the defibrillator but highlight to everyone that cardiac arrest is an indiscriminate killer; it can happen to anyone at any time.” Indeed 12 young people die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) a week out of a total of some 30,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests a year. Survival depends on reaction time and having the right equipment to hand can make all the difference.
Following a training session and the assembly with Year 8, the Headmaster, Paul Dick, said: “Congratulations to Dr Nick Young and his team. The work they do, in making defibrillators available throughout our community, is outstanding. Thank you too to Nick for the excellent training he has given both to staff and to pupils, so that we can extend the effectiveness of his programme. Kennet School is delighted to make a further contribution to the health and welfare of the community we serve.”
Heartstart Thatcham deliver, for free, Emergency Life Support (ELS) training. This allows a person to cope in a medical emergency until professional help arrives.
Please note in any medical emergency your first priority is to dial 999.