East of England Ambulance Service backs defibrillator and CPR initiative

A defibrillator

A defibrillator

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The region’s ambulance service has backed a national initiative which will help to save more lives.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the Department of Health have today (Thursday, October 1) launched a £1 million scheme to make public access defibrillators and CPR training more available across England.

Immediate CPR and the early use of a defibrillator can dramatically improve a patient’s chances of survival when they go into cardiac arrest.

The BHF programme is open to charities, social enterprises, community groups and commercial organisations, working in partnership with the ambulance service.

Organisations can check if they are eligible, and apply for the free community package including up to five public access defibrillators and a Call Push Rescue training kit, by visiting bhf.org.uk/defibsdh.

The East of England Ambulance Service invested in 1,000 new automated external defibrillators (AED) earlier this year in premises such as sports clubs, village halls, schools and libraries.

One of those defibrillators – at Bramford Golf Centre, near Ipswich – was used by staff at the golf centre when a man collapsed on the morning of August 28.

After a paramedic in a rapid response vehicle, ambulance crew and East Anglian Air Ambulance arrived, they managed to get the patient’s heart beating again before taking him to hospital.

After three weeks in hospital, the patient was discharged and is on course to make a full recovery.

Jon Needle, a community partnership manager for the service, said: “We are delighted that a defibrillator we provided earlier this year, and training, has led to such a positive outcome.

“A defibrillator can make a crucial difference in the first two or three minutes before an ambulance crew or community first responder reaches a patient who isn’t breathing and whose heart has stopped.

“We’re really on board with this new project to increase the number of defibrillators, and we would urge organisations that don’t have one to apply.”

Earlier this year, the service launched ‘Their Life, Your Hands’ - a campaign to get people thinking where their nearest community public access defibrillator is located and to help take the fear out having to use one should the situation arise.

For more information, visit http://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/Get-involved/Community-Public-Access-Defibrillators.htm.