Essex & Herts Air Ambulance and Rotary Club of Royston team up to save lives
New defibrillator is installed outside the Air Ambulance Charity Shop in Royston.
Thanks to a generous donation of £2,000 from the Rotary Club of Royston, Essex & Herts Air Ambulance have been able to install a potentially life-saving defibrillator for the town, which can be accessed via a cabinet on the outside of their Charity Shop in Church Lane.
This defibrillator, supplied by WEL Medical Limited, marks the beginning of an ongoing project for Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, who are committed to installing Public Access Defibrillators (PADs), and plan to have one on the outside of, or close to, all of their Charity Shops from this point onwards.
A defibrillator is a computerised medical device used when a person experiences sudden cardiac arrest. The defibrillator delivers an electrical current through the chest which aims to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm, allowing it to pump again. The use of this, alongside cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), is crucial to the ‘chain of survival’.
The Royston project was funded by the Rotary Club, and allowed the purchase of the defibrillator and external cabinet. Graeme Dargie, President of the Rotary Club of Royston, said: “Our club was already considering providing a defibrillator in Royston when we heard that Essex & Herts Air Ambulance were going to raise funds to put one outside their new shop in Royston. As we think that Essex & Herts Air Ambulance is a very worthy charity we immediately offered to fund the whole cost of the defibrillator and were delighted that our offer was enthusiastically received. Our club is committed to helping in the local community, so were very pleased to be able to provide this service.”
Director of WEL Medical Limited, Ian Pearse, said:
“WEL Medical is proud to assist and support the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Charity in their commitment to raising awareness of public access defibrillators (PADs).
The iPAD SP1 is the unit of choice by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and is used by the NHS Ambulance Service throughout the UK. As a leading provider of these and other life-saving devices, we know how important they are for a local community.”
The Charity hopes that the defibrillator will encourage bystanders to get involved in the incident of a cardiac arrest, and will provide the town of Royston with additional assistance before trained medical help arrives. Essex & Herts Air Ambulance is committed to raising awareness and ensuring that PADs are accessible so that, should a sudden cardiac arrest occur, assistance can be given at the very earliest opportunity.
Stuart Elms, Clinical Director for Essex & Herts Air Ambulance said: “Our Pre-hospital Care Doctors and Critical Care Paramedics treat many out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year, and the NHS Ambulance services treat approximately 30,000 per year. Care and treatment has advanced every year, but those receiving bystander CPR and early defibrillation has lacked compared to other areas in the world, where this is a more common practice.”
“Essex & Herts Air Ambulance are committed to providing care and recognise that PADs are a recognised, safe method of initiating early chain of survival care in this group of patients, for whom time is critical.”
“We want the public to know that there is a PAD available in their area. Once 999 has been called, ensuring that further help is on the way, members of the public should not be afraid to use the equipment and start CPR. The defibrillator provides clear and audible instructions and will not deliver a shock if the patient does not need it.”
“When someone has a cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces their chances of survival by 7–10%, so these interventions buy vital time for the patient.”
This year alone, Essex & Herts Air Ambulance has attended over 267 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. The Charity hopes that this new project will be able to provide education and further emergency support to the people of Royston, and many communities to come.