Act in Time – Save a life!
The new Boars Hill AED (Automated External Defibrillator) has now been installed by the main porch of the Beaumont Care Home. Take the Bayworth Lane turn off Foxcombe Road. Go to the main entrance (first turning 50yds on the right); you will see the AED by the main porch directly ahead of you. Call 999 first to get the access #.
Martin Fagan, National Secretary of the Community HeartBeat Trust, held a Defibrillator Awareness Session at St Leonard’s Church, Sunningwell on Sunday 27th April which was attended by about 50 local residents.
D marks the location of the Defibrillator at the junction of Foxcombe Road and Bayworth Lane.
This unit was jointly funded as a public service by:
5 minutes to save a life!
The Boars Hill Association is pleased to announce that it has negotiated a cost effective scheme to provide a public access Defibrillator on the Hill. The unit is located outside under cover of the front porch of the Beaumont Care Home. The cost of providing the unit has been shared equally by Sunningwell PC, the BHA and the Beaumont.
In an emergency, call 999 first, the ambulance service will give the access code to the box.
This is the second unit to be installed in Sunningwell Parish, the other being in Sunningwell village telephone box.
What is a Sudden Cardiac Arrest and when does it strike?
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly due to a malfunction in the heart’s electrical system. The resulting chaotic heart rhythm is called “fibrillation”. During SCA a victim first loses his or her pulse, then consciousness and finally the ability to breathe. All of this can happen quickly – in fact, in a matter of seconds…
- It strikes without warning taking the lives of 250 people a day in the UK
- Less than 5% of its victims in the UK survive
- It kills 100 000 people a year – more than lung or breast cancer
- It can happen to anyone, even young athletes
- Defibrillation is the only treatment
- Defibrillation within three minutes increases the chance of survival to over 70%
By the time you have finished reading this article another person will have died!
What is an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)?
An AED is an emergency portable life-saving device (similar in size to a laptop computer) for use in the event of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. It analyses the heart rhythm and, if needed, administers an electrical charge to the heart to re-establish a regular heartbeat in the event of a Cardiac Arrest.
Only within the first few minutes following a Cardiac Arrest will a victim be in a ‘shockable rhythm’, and therefore rapid defibrillation is vital. Placing AEDs in the community is widely recommended by the emergency services to reduce the time from collapse to defibrillation.
How does an AED work?
When turned on, the AED itself will instruct the users to connect the pads to a patient’s bare chest. The pads enable the AED to examine the patient’s heart and determine if the patient is in a viable, shockable rhythm. If the device determines that a shock is required, it will charge up in preparation to deliver a shock. The AED is very safe as it will only deliver a charge when it determines a shockable rhythm is present.
When charged, the device instructs the user to ensure no-one is touching the victim and the AED unit will advise the user that it will deliver the shock without further intervention. After the shock is delivered, the device will instruct the user to commence/continue CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) for a period, after which it will analyse the patient’s heart rhythm once again, advising whether a further shock or more CPR is needed.
An AED has an internal memory, which stores the ECG of the patient along with details of the time the unit was activated and the number and strength of any shocks delivered. All this memorised data can either be downloaded to a computer or printed out, so that it can be analysed by appropriate medical personnel.
Who can use an AED?
Using an AED is as simple as 1…2…3
It is the view of the Resuscitation Council (UK) that the use of an AED is NOT to be restricted to trained personnel. However chances of survival increase if the person has had some training in its use. For this reason, the BHA, in conjunction with Sunningwell Parish Council, is holding a public awareness seminar which you are very strongly urged to attend.
AEDs have visual and voice prompts which guide the resuscitator through the defibrillation process. The device is failsafe and will not administer a shock unless a particular heartbeat is detected.
What is the “Chain of Survival”?
The “Chain of Survival” represents the sequence of events/links that must occur quickly to give the patient the optimum chance of surviving a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Time is critical – you only have a matter of minutes to restart the heart.
What are the four links of the “Chain of Survival”?.
- Early access to care – dial 999 immediately! They will give you the code # for the AED.
- Early Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) – provide CPR to help maintain blood flow to the brain until the arrival of defibrillation. CPR / chest compressions are given by leaning directly over the patient’s chest and, whilst keeping the elbows straight, using both hands together on top of each other to push down firmly about twice per second. This will mimic the action of the heart and buy valuable time.
- Early defibrillation – defibrillation is the only way to restart a heart in cardiac arrest.
- Early advance care – after defibrillation, upon arrival an emergency team provides advanced cardiac care on scene, such as intravenous medications.
Quick action by the first person on the scene can truly make a difference in saving a life.