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 ollie.cowan@champnews.com
Monday, 29 July 2013 (3041210)
Campaign to get more defibs in Resort
by Ollie Cowan


A CAMPAIGN is being launched by a Southport Charity to help get more defibrillators in the resort.

Michelle Howard, head of the Heart4Heart charity, set up the campaign following the death of her father Reg last year and now campaigns to raise awareness about CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) techniques, as well as provide more defibrillators across the town.

Last week our reporter Ollie Cowan sat down with Michelle and North West Ambulance paramedic Steve Nicholls to talk about how important the equipment is every day.

“If people have the skills and the knowledge then they can be lifesavers,” Steve told our reporter.

“The only problem is people are sometimes reluctant to use these techniques because they don't think they are doing anything beneficial.

”The reality is once someone goes into cardiac arrest they are technically dead so anything you do will go towards helping save their life.

“As a paramedic I get called out to so many cardiac arrests and the difference it makes turning up to find someone already performing CPR and using a portable defibrillator is astonishing.

”Outside of a hospital there is a 3% chance of surviving a cardiac arrest but by someone using CPR it instantly increases to around 15%.

“If you combine CPR techniques and a defibrillator it's a 50% chance of survival. How important does that make them?

”Ideally two things need to happen in Southport - the first is we need to make people more aware of how to do CPR and get them more comfortable doing it.

“Secondly we need to encourage more businesses, social clubs, restaurants etc to install public defibrillators like in Formby and Liverpool.

”Liverpool City Council have done a fantastic job working with the Oliver King Foundation in getting defibrillators in schools across the city, but for Sefton the approach is a lot more lax.“

Michelle added: ”That's the problem we as Heart4Heart experience. We campaign a lot and focus on Social/Sports Clubs especially - as far as we are aware there are only nine defibs in the entire resort.

“We have managed to fundraise enough to install three across Southport and West Lancashire but to have support from the Council would be amazing.

”Unfortunately we aren't at that stage yet, which is why we'd love The Champion to help boost our campaign alongside the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS).“

A spokesperson for NWAS told our reporter: ”What we are trying to do is build a comprehensive database of where these public defibrillators are.

“It's so when someone rings up to report a cardiac arrest we can instantly tell them where their nearest defib is and we can get the life saving process underway immediately.

”We would urge anyone to let our team know if they have an on-site defib so we can start updating our records. Call us now on 0845 112 0 999.“

Steve added: ”A change to perception on using defibs would be great as well. They are self testing, fully battery operated and are £650.

“The give clear and precise voice prompts so nothing goes wrong and most importantly store data for doctors at hospital to use when treating the patient further.”

For more information on Heart4Heart or if you would like to donate please go to www.heart4heart.org.uk



Visit www.champnews.com to see our reporter Ollie undertake life saving CPR training with NWAS Paramedic Steve Nicholls.






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