Today, if you suffer a cardiac arrest out of hospital in the UK, you have less than a one in ten chance of surviving. Burley Parish Council is supporting the fight to change this and we now have a community defibrillator installed. This public access device can be found outside the Queens Hall, opposite the Queen’s Head public House on Main Street and is there for anyone to use on someone in cardiac arrest.
The device is simple and safe because the machine gives clear spoken instructions and users don't need training to use one. Once in position, the defibrillator detects the heart's rhythm. It won't deliver a shock unless one is needed. The equipment has visual prompts and voice prompts which guide the resuscitator through the process of defibrillation. The device is failsafe and will not administer a shock unless a particular heartbeat is detected. Only within the first few minutes following a cardiac arrest will a victim be in a ‘shockable rhythm’, and therefore placing equipment like this in the community can improve survival rates.
How does it work ?
When turned on, the defibrillator will instruct the user to connect the pads to a patient’s chest. The pads enable the defibrillator to examine the patient’s heart and determine if the patient is in a viable, shockable rhythm. If the device determines that a shock is required, it will charge up in preparation to deliver a shock. The defibrillator will only deliver a charge when it determines a shockable rhythm is present.
When charged, the defibrillator instructs the user to ensure no-one is touching the victim, and then to press a button to deliver the shock. After the shock is delivered, the device will instruct the user to commence/continue resuscitation for a period, after which it will analyse the patient’s heart rhythm once again, advising whether a further shock or more resuscitation is needed. The defibrillator has an internal memory, which stores the ECG of the patient along with details of the time the unit was activated and the number and strength of any shocks delivered. All this memorised data can be either downloaded to a computer or printed out, so that it can be analysed by appropriate medical personnel.
The quicker the intervention, the better the outcome because following a cardiac arrest the chance of survival decreases by 23% per minute. It is therefore very important medical treatment starts as soon as possible. The Queen’s Hall in Burley can be reached in under 5 minutes by 80% of the village.
The British Heart Foundation have teamed up with the Yorkshire Ambulance Trust and the Improvement Academy to search for defibrillators in the Yorkshire and Humber area. Burley Parish Council have registered the defibrillator and its now available 24 hour, 7 day a week and 365 days a year to keep Burley’s heart beating