Chew Valley in North Somerset, England used to be a unfortunate location for anyone suffering a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). With emergency services more than eight minutes away, many victims of SCA often failed to survive simply because medical assistance was just too far away.
Thanks to a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) initiative launched in 2007 as a pilot program, local residents have an increased chance of surviving an SCA. As part of this program, South West Ambulance Service (formerly The Great Western Ambulance Service), Arrhythmia Alliance and AED Locator established a network of 12 PADs, also called Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), in principle villages around Chew Valley lake.
HeartSine Authorized Distributor AED Locator donated AEDs and HeartSafe® green cabinets that were placed in public locations throughout the Chew Valley. These cabinets could be opened to get the AED any time during the day using an access code provided by local ambulance service to callers who were reporting a suspected SCA. Since the initiative began, hundreds more AEDs have been installed in the region so tens of thousands of people are now receiving greater protection by having these lifesaving devices close at hand.
On the 10th February 2015, cabinet number 504 in Chew Stoke was accessed by Lucy Moorhouse whose 50-year old husband Jerry had collapsed in their kitchen and stopped breathing. Lucy telephoned emergency services who provided the access code to the Chew Stoke cabinet, located outside the Chew Stoke village stores/garage on the main road. Their teenage son, Miles, performed CPR on his dad while Lucy collected the AED. Back at home, Lucy placed the electrode pads on her husband’s chest, and followed the prompts to deliver an electric shock within less than two minutes. Jerry began to breathe, and Miles continued with CPR for an additional six minutes.
Fortunately for Jerry and his family, the defibrillator being used was the very latest British-made HeartSine samaritan® PAD 500P which not only provided an electric shock to the patient, but also verbally instructed Miles as to the quality of CPR he was providing. The device kept saying “push harder” enabling Miles to perform quality CPR on his father ensuring oxygenated blood continued to his father’s brain. The combination of mother and son’s immediate efforts, the Ambulance Service’s skilled advice and the latest advanced AED proved successful while the paramedics traveled to Jerry’s location and airlifted him to hospital.
As part of the HeartSine Forward Hearts campaign, a new HeartSine samaritan® PAD 500P defibrillator will be donated on behalf of the Parish Council and Jerry to the local Chew Stoke Primary School where it is intended to be positioned outside the school once funds are raised for a cabinet. Like the AED that saved Jerry, the new AED will be have 24 hour access for anyone locally who need to use the device to save another life.
The donation will take place on Friday 17th April 2015 at 2 pm outside the village stores in Chew Stoke.
Good news spreads quickly and AED Locator has become the country’s leading provider of solutions for communities to install defibrillators.
Jerry and his family are keen to promote the benefits of Public Access Defibrillators and would welcome coverage of this event to encourage others to consider adopting similar initiatives.
Should you wish to attend the event to witness a magical success story which has also encouraged the nation to help themselves in emergency situations then do please make the effort to do so or contact us for any further information.
Please also visit our website www.heartsafe.org.uk for further information.