Hitchin Defibrillator Awareness Day – March 30th
Anyone who has wondered exactly what a defibrillator is and how they save lives can find out at an Awareness Day in Hitchin Market Place on Saturday 30th March between 9am and 4pm.
Organised by Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) in partnership with the Hitchin Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Scheme and Hitchin Community First Responders, the free event will give passers-by an opportunity to familiarise themselves with defibrillators and have a go at using one on a medical mannequin. Tony Stone, a Critical Care Paramedic with the Charity, Maggie Hackney of the Hitchin AED Scheme and Pamela Biggs from Hitchin Community First Responders will all be on hand to demonstrate the equipment and answer questions.
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’.
EHAAT is committed to raising awareness of the devices and ensuring that defibrillators are accessible so that, should a sudden cardiac arrest occur, assistance can be given at the very earliest opportunity.
Stuart Elms, Clinical Director for EHAAT 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, but those receiving bystander CPR and early defibrillation have a better chance of survival. 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.”
Maggie Hackney, founder of the Hitchin AED Scheme, said: “I’m delighted that we will be taking part in this event, which will help increase awareness of the early signs of cardiac arrest and what people can do to assist by using a defibrillator. Community AEDs are an important resource for the local community and it is important that as many people as possible know what they are for and how easy they are to use.”
Pam Biggs from Hitchin Community First Responders said: “Community First Responders are volunteers who work with the ambulance service in their local area. They are dispatched to life threatening calls such as cardiac arrest – while the ambulance service is on its way. Could you help to save a life?”