Hunt on for Rotherham's heart defibrillators

DO you have a defibrillator in your workplace, gym or shop?

As part of a potentially life-saving British Heart Foundation Rotherham Heart Town Initiative, the Yorkshire Ambulance Service is on a mission to locate every defibrillator in the town.

It already knows of 56 sites that have an Automated External Defibrillator  in public places and workplaces but needs to find them all, plot them in its ambulance control system and identify gaps in provision.

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The YAS wants people to ask at their GP surgery, local gym or workplace to see if they have a defibrillator, which can help to restart a patient’s heart if they have a cardiac arrest.

Community defibrillation officer for Yorkshire Ambulance Service Emma Scott said: “Rotherham has become a BHF Heart Town, which means for the next five years organisations across the town from the council to local businesses, the NHS to schools will be working together to raise awareness of heart health and make positive moves to improving it.

“An AED is a machine that can help to restart a patient’s heart if it stops and they can be used by anyone as they are robust and user friendly. If an AED is attached to a patient in cardiac arrest within the first few minutes of collapse it can greatly increase their chance of survival.

“They are becoming more prevalent in all sorts of public places like transport interchanges and sports venues and in workplaces from factories to office blocks.

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“If the position of the AED is logged in ambulance control it means the operator taking a 999 call can ask the caller if the defibrillator is with the patient which should ensure that these life saving devices are used if needed.

“The operator can even talk the caller through the use of an AED if they have not been trained in its use.

“The information gleaned from this ‘defib hunt’ will be mapped and logged and then used to ascertain where gaps in AED provision are as part of a project being undertaken by the BHF Heart Town team to get more AEDs in Rotherham.”

If you know the location of a defibrillator or have any questions about AEDs contact Emma Scott by email at [email protected]