21st September 2015
There's absolutely no doubt that using a defibrillator (AED - automated external defibrillator) can really save lives. We have just had excellent training by St John Ambulance staff on how to use one as there's now an AED located 2 minutes from our head office in the reception of Bowcliffe Hall.
Perhaps like us, you also visualise an emergency team shouting ‘stand back’ while paddles are placed on a patient. We certainly did and thought this was a machine only to be used by trained medics. Whereas it does help to have had CPR training, if the need arises, don't let a lack of training stop you using one, even London Ambulance Service say they are shockingly easy to use. The AEDs even talk you through the procedures, give you encouragement and help to keep you calm.
So, if you are in a situation and there is an AED nearby, you have the choice of waiting for help to arrive or having a go. Please have a go. If someone’s heart has stopped you are not going to make things worse by trying to help. Remember the footballer Fabrice Muama who collapsed on the pitch in 2012? By the time he was stabilised his heart had stopped for 78 minutes (during which time he was receiving CPR) and had been shocked 15 times! During our training we were told you have a 10 second window to get CPR going.
We have industrial sites across the North of England & the Central Belt of Scotland so there will be dozens of AEDs situated on high streets, schools and in businesses in this area alone. We will aim to find out where they are.
Let’s hope the occasion never arises for you to use an AED but if it does just have a go!