Let’s get a heart app pumping in the county

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IT’S a revolutionary mobile phone app that could save lives by telling you where defibrillators are.

And the ambulance trust behind it is asking people to get on board.

As reported, South Central Ambulance Service (Scas) has launched its Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) Locator phone app.

The trust, which covers Hampshire, has put together information on where the closest defibrillators are to you.

The aim is to let people know where the nearest one is so, if necessary, treatment can be started before and ambulance arrives.

Mark Ainsworth-Smith, a consultant pre-hospital care practitioner for Scas, said: ‘Patients in cardiac arrest, or having an abnormal heart rhythm, greatly benefit from having a defibrillator close by.

‘The advice is to call 999 first, start chest compressions, and also ensure a defibrillator is on its way to you.’

The app was designed by a Canadian company and Scas is the first ambulance trust in England to adopt a version.

People with iPhones and iPads can download the app free by searching for ‘AED locator’.

A version for BlackBerry and Android devices is also being created.

Ross Smith is a paramedic team leader for the Portsmouth area, and said it’s critical help is given quickly.

He said: ‘This app is a fantastic way forward, and we really want people to get on board.

‘Places like big offices, health centres, gyms and shops, are likely to carry defibrillators.

‘But you can never assume, and so it’s good to know beforehand where they are.

‘That’s why people should download this app, before they may need it.

‘Not only does the app tell you where one is located, it will be more specific and say exactly where.

‘This is all critical as time is of the essence and is literally life saving.

‘Getting help in the first few minutes is the difference between saving a life.’

A defibrillator is a machine that delivers an electric shock to the heart when someone is having a cardiac arrest.

It costs around £1,850 for a defibrillator, and someone will need to be trained to use it.

If you have an AED, but it is not on the locator map, contact Matt George on 01962 898056.