The new defibrillator unit outside Eynsham Co-op could dramatically increase survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest - the UK’s biggest killer.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a condition whereby the heart either stops or beats in such a way it does not pump blood and is the UK’s single biggest killer.
It is a ‘time critical condition’, it has been estimated when someone suffers a SCA the chances of a successful resuscitation reduces by about 10% per minute when no treatment is being applied. Because of this, successful ‘out of hospital’ resuscitations in the UK are around 4 - 5%. Cardio-pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is important and will ‘buy time’ but to give the patient the best possible chance of survival, CPR and a shock from a defibrillator is needed.
Modern defibrillators are portable and easy to use. Once the machine is switched on it will give the operator verbal instructions how to apply its pads to the patient’s chest. It will then analyse the patient’s heart rhythm and make the decision if the patient needs a shock. If the machine detects a normal heart beat it will not allow the operator to deliver a shock thereby eliminating the possibility of shocking someone who doesn’t need it.
A PUBLIC ACCESS DEFIBRILLATOR has been installed in a locked cabinet outside the Eynsham Co-op. The Ambulance Service holds the cabinet entry code and will give it out should they receive a SCA call. An ambulance will be despatched immediately but using the community defibrillator prior to ambulance arrival can make a real difference. There is evidence: where there are community defibrillator in the UK, SCA survival rates have increased to 20% and in the USA (particularly Seattle), where they are a generation ahead of the UK and have many more community defibrillators, SCA survival rates have been reported at 62%.
TO GIVE FURTHER RESILIENCE, the ambulance service is recruiting Community First Responders (CFR). CFRs are trained by the ambulance service and respond to life threatening emergencies in their neighbourhoods while an ambulance is on its way. Because CFRs carry a defibrillator it further reduces the time needed to collect the community defibrillator, the two systems working together will make a real difference.
If you are over 18 years old and would like more information about becoming a Community First Responder either call 0800 587 0207 or visit the website.