Kirklington's defibrillator is situated on the outside wall at the front of the Village Hall - you can't miss it as it's in a big yellow box next to the front door. Whilst we, of course, hope it's never needed, it provides peace of mind that someone could be given practical help should they suffer a heart attack. Help can be given by anyone, no training is needed (just access to a mobile phone to contact the emergency services).
A defibrillator is also known as an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). It is a device that is used to give the heart an electric shock when someone's heart has stopped, and could save their life by "resetting" the electrical state of their heart. If defibrillated within the first minute of collapse, the victim's chances for survival are close to 90 percent. For every minute that defibrillation is delayed, survival decreases by 7 percent to 10 percent. If it is delayed by more than 10 minutes, the chance of survival in adults is less than 5 percent.
This is why it is especially important that a rural community, such as ours, has one.
Defibrillators are designed to be used without training and, in its simplest terms, you would:
- ring 999
- tell the operator the location number (on the front of the box)
- the operator will tell you the code you need to open the box
- follow the instructions given by/on the machine
To reassure you, the machine cannot 'shock' anyone that doesn't need it - instructions are given to tell you what to do at each stage and once pads have been put in place, the machine uses the information from the patient to 'assess' their heart. The ambulance should already be on its way, so using the defibrillator increases the patient's chance of survival while you wait for it.