Bangor charity, the Danny Mills Foundation, has received a portable defibrillator trainer to use as a learning device for schools and sports clubs in the local area in a bid to ensure unnecessary deaths as a result of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) are prevented.
The training device, donated by Northern Ireland defibrillator manufacturer HeartSine Technologies, was handed over to Pauline Mills who set up the Danny Mills Foundation in memory of her son, Danny, shortly after he passed away in his sleep after experiencing SCA, aged just 21.
With the aim of saving lives and sparing others the heartbreak of losing a loved one so suddenly, Pauline and her team of supporters founded the charity to promote increased public access to lifesaving defibrillators and heart screening in Northern Ireland.
Mrs Mills said:
“A couple of months ago a member of staff from HeartSine invited us to visit the factory so we could share Danny’s story with the entire workforce and of course inform them of our own campaign to achieve better public access to defibrillators in Northern Ireland.
“On the same day we were treated to a guided tour of the manufacturing floor where we witnessed the intricate processes involved in making defibrillators, which was fascinating to watch and gave us real insight into how clever these small devices really are.
“Since then the amount of support we have received from HeartSine, their employees and the wider community has been truly remarkable. This has given us the motivation to really drive this campaign in the hope that no more lives are lost unnecessarily.
“The trainer device will be a huge help to us when teaching others about the enormous difference prompt defibrillation and CPR can make to a life or death situation.
“Since the foundation’s inception, we have donated a number of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to various local schools, sports clubs and community centres such as Pickie Bowling Club and Bangor Council.
“Whilst the devices can be used by absolutely anyone, even those with no prior first aid experience, the HeartSine trainer unit gives us the opportunity to revisit these sites and let everyone involved have hands on experience with the defibrillator. This familiarity with the device will hopefully provide everyone with an even greater confidence should they ever have to use the device.
“Even though I hope that many of the devices we have donated will never have to be used, and those trained will never have to implement this training in real life, we would like to thank HeartSine for their support.
“The work HeartSine has done in pioneering lifesaving, mobile cardiac technology is fantastic. I am grateful for their support and hope to continue this partnership in our joint mission of preventing unnecessary deaths.”
Belfast-based company HeartSine Technologies, manufacturers and exports lifesaving defibrillators to over 40 countries worldwide. The AEDs are available in 30 different languages.
The easy-to-use samaritan® PAD Trainer donated to the Danny Mills Foundation, simulates a live AED by guiding users through the various defibrillation processes, such as heart analysis, energy delivery and prompted CPR.
Hugh Hennessy, Commercial Director of HeartSine Technologies said:
“We hear of SCA deaths from across the world every day, in men and women of all ages and who are generally in what appears to be very good health. It saddens me that many of these deaths could have been prevented if a defibrillator had been present and used.
“To hear of a young man’s death as a result of SCA in a neighbouring town is even more upsetting and a stark reminder of just how brutal this condition is with no regard for age, sex, fitness levels or general health.
“Since Danny’s passing in 2013, the work Mrs Mills has done to prevent this from happening to others is tremendous and has inspired our employees to help do the same by reaching out to the community.
“As there will generally be no prior symptoms, we can’t predict SCA. Given that over 80% of SCA events occur outside a hospital setting, we can be prepared to respond and give the victim, who may well be a family member or friend, the best possible chance of survival. And this happens with prompt defibrillation whilst awaiting the arriving of professional medical assistance.”
With CPR alone, the changes of surviving as SCA event is less than 5%. Chances of survival soar to over 70% when CPR is used in conjunction with and AED.
Hugh Hennessy continued:
“Our mission is to increase public access to defibrillators to prevent these unnecessary deaths. Mrs Mills, along with her family members and volunteer teams, has been a huge support in raising awareness of defibrillators in the North Down area and demonstrating just how easy they are to use.
“With a shared aim, we hope to continue supporting and working closely with Mrs Mills and the Danny Mills Foundation and wish the charity all the best in its future endeavours.”