South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) has worked in partnership with Shipham Parish Council to launch a community defibrillator in the village of Shipham, Somerset.
Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are purposely easy-to-use and anyone can use them – the machines talk you through what to do, and that, alongside advice from our emergency call-handlers, means that anyone can help to save a life.
Cardiac arrest does not discriminate against age, sex or fitness – it can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any time. It can be caused by many things including heart attacks, strokes and major trauma, and early defibrillation for patients in cardiac arrest can make all the difference to the outcome.
SWASFT has launched many new initiatives in Somerset this year such as increasing the number of community first responders as well as giving better access to community defibrillators by increasing the number available.
Covering an area that is predominantly rural, SWASFT plays a huge role in ensuring that communities have access to a defibrillator. These initiatives are vital to ensure people get the care they need, immediately, while an ambulance is on its way – which is what is required in a cardiac arrest situation.
Kim Davey, Assistant Community Responder Officer for SWASFT said: “The first few minutes of a cardiac arrest are absolutely crucial so having this life-saving equipment available, while the ambulance is en route, gives the patient the best possible chance of survival. The more communities we can support to install their own defibrillator, the better.”
Shipham Parish Council is very grateful to Hansford Butchers in Shipham for allowing the defibrillator to be placed on the shop, and to electrician Jamie Blair for installing it.