THE chances of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest in a busy residential area have just gone up.
That’s because of an automatic external defibrillator (AED) is now installed and ready to be used 24/7 365 days a year.
The device was unveiled yesterday at The Rainbow Pub, off Milton Road, Waterlooville.
The defibrillator uses intelligent technology to shock a heart back to its normal rhythm.
The big benefit of the publicly-accessible AED is that it requires no training because a sequence of voice commands and screen messages guide the user through the defibrillation process.
The device at The Rainbow will be able to be used by a large population across Hart Plain, Wecock and Cowplain in times of emergency.
Councillor Leah Turner, mayor of Havant borough, who cut the ribbon to officially unveil the kit, said: ‘It’s a valuable asset to the community – particularly the fact that it’s 24 hours a day under supervision from the ambulance service.
‘It’s not locked away and it’s in the community for when it’s needed. Defibrillators save lives.’
Dick Tracey, a divisional manager at South Central Ambulance Service, said: ‘Sudden cardiac arrest remains the single biggest killer.
‘Out of hospital the chances of surviving are five per cent.
‘There’s good evidence to show that having one of these can increase the survival rates anywhere between 40 and 60 per cent.
‘If people are within 10 minutes of this machine, their survival rate increases. It can make a huge difference.
‘We often think sudden cardiac arrest is an old person’s illness.
‘The reality is there’s around 15 school-age children going into cardiac arrest weekly in the UK.’
The installation was headed by local dad Matthew Patis, who learned about the need for more defibrillators while attending a first aid course for the Girls’ Brigade.
Hart Plain Infant and Junior Schools held non-uniform days to raise cash and £1,000 was granted by county councillor Ann Briggs.
At the unveiling were pupils Daisy Collins, Ben Walsh, Emily Ward and Nathan Burbidge.
Charity the Community Heartbeat Trust also helped to get the device installed.
The News is hoping to help double the number of defibrillators in the area. There are currently around 70.
For more information visit southcentralambulance.nhs.uk/campaigns/startaheart or communityheartbeat.org.uk.