defib campaign in Hyde June 2015

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undefinedA recently-launched campaign to have defibrillators made available in many more public spaces such as parks, swimming pools, offices and schools is being led by St Mary's church, Newton, Hyde.

The campaign also wants to get the life-saving equipment strategically placed on streets where it can be easily accessed by anyone who witnesses a cardiac arrest or someone with symptoms suggesting a heart attack.

The Revd Annie Woodcock said: “The aim is to get to get everyone together and carry out a defibrillator-mapping exercise so that we can know how just how many defibrillators there are currently situated around Tameside (the borough that Hyde is part of)."

A defibrillator is an electrical device in small box which contains pads which you apply to the chest. The pads send a shock to the heart which can restart the heart immediately. Externally located defibrillators can be used to shock an arrested heart back into rhythm, whilst awaiting the arrival of a first responder or an ambulance.

Among those taking a leading part in the campaign is Sara Burgess, organist at St Mary’s and a long term member of the parish, whose son Matthew, aged 20, died as a result of a cardiac arrest whilst playing football in Hyde last year. Also helping the campaign are members of the community resuscitation team based within the North West Ambulance Service, and Victoria Dollard of medical training company Mediskills.

Sara said: “It’s now crystal clear that without a defibrillator anyone suffering a cardiac arrest outside of hospital has a very reduced chance of survival. It was also a sobering statistic to learn that 12 young people between the age of 15 and 25 die as a result of a cardiac arrest every week, and that is only the figure for young people.

“This was the reason why my family and I decided to try and raise awareness of how many people have a cardiac arrest and also to try to encourage people to raise money to buy defibrillators for the community.

“We found that we could purchase them from the same source as the NHS. And we have a contact with the Hyde-based company Mediskills, which is providing the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training.”

The Revd Annie Woodcock, a former nurse,  added: “I believe this campaign is not only raising awareness of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) but it’s also part of our vision at St Mary’s to improve health and offer local people training and volunteer opportunities.

“Next step in our parish campaign is the training of as many people as possible in basic life support techniques and use of AEDs. Training in the local community has already started”.

As a result of the campaign Tameside borough will very soon have its first outdoor defibrillator located by Muscle Freaks Gym in Newton, Hyde.

If you are a business who currently have possession of an AED or Defibrillator on your premises, please become ‘Cardiac Smart’ and contact: www.cardiacsmart.nwas.nhs.uk so that it can be included in the life-saving mapping programme.

Pictured above  – L to R, Paramedic David McNally, the Revd Annie Woodcock, Victoria Dollard of Mediskills, and Sara BurgessPhoto reproduced by kind permission of local news website www.hydecommunitymatters.com