Portsmouth residents learn vital CPR and defibrillator techniques
CITY residents were given the tools needed to potentially save someone’s life during a successful CPR and defibrillator training day in a Portsmouth high street.
Members of the South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS), St John’s Ambulance and the University of Portsmouth took over a spot on Commercial Road in the city centre today (October 15) for a hands-on open day as part of the international Restart a Heart campaign.
Leading the event was senior teaching fellow at the university and paramedic, Rob Isherwood.
He said: ‘In the UK we’re not great, we’ve got too much of a stiff upper lip and we don’t get involved when people collapse.
‘I want to train people to get over their fears, get involved if they see if someone is hurt, try and help them as best they can, and also to get over some of the fears of using the equipment in this environment. We know if someone has gone into a cardiac arrest and you use a defibrillator on them it will be effective 75 per cent of the time.’
SCAS community first responder David Jeffrey was also on hand to provide training and advice.
The 59-year-old former IT worker was driven to join the responders after suffering both a heart attack and cardiac arrest at a swimming pool in 2016. Luckily a worker there had first aid training and ‘saved his life’ by administering CPR and using a defibrillator after his heart stopped for seven minutes.
‘We need to get the message out to the community about doing CPR and using a defibrillator on people, and knowing the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest,’ he said.
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‘In a heart attack the bloody supply is cut off, there’s pain but the victim is conscious and talking to you. In a cardiac arrest the heart does not beat at all, it’s quivering. The person could be clinically dead. In a situation like that it is imperative someone intervenes. If not that person is destined for the mortuary.’
Several of students from the University of Portsmouth attended the event.
Nourin Shamnad, 23, a biotechnology masters student, said: ‘One of my uncles passed away due to a heart attack a few years ago. So for me learning these skills was so important.’
Her friend and pharmacy student Stephenie Ogborogu, 18, added: ‘I wanted to come here to learn because my own grandfather had heart failure so it’s for my own benefit and I want to be able to help if someone has had a heart attack.’