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Using vital equipment could save a life

12 October 2016

Learning how to use life-saving techniques on Restart a Heart Day will leave Islanders ready to step up in a genuine emergency.

The annual awareness day is being used as part of a drive to highlight Jersey's large network of Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) sites, and to show people how they should be used.

The aim of Restart a Heart Day, which takes place on Tuesday 18 October, is to improve the low numbers of people surviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. This will be achieved through educating the public about the simple measures they can take to perform basic life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) using their hands and/or a defibrillator.

UK statistics show that whereas only one in 25 victims of a cardiac arrest is likely to survive without receiving CPR, their chances increase to one in four where CPR takes place. CPR can keep the blood flowing to the brain, reducing the onset of brain damage which may otherwise commence within three minutes.

There are now 31 PAD sites in Jersey, but many Islanders would hesitate to use a ‘defib’ because they regard it as a specialist piece of equipment.

“We want to make members of the public aware that defibrillators are available in locations around the Island, and that anyone can use them,” said Janet Davison, Training and Development Officer for the States of Jersey Ambulance Service. “People worry that they might make the patient worse, but the only wrong thing you can do for someone in this position is to ignore them.

“Defibs are straightforward to use, and often they’ll be used in conjunction with a phone call to a trained operator who can explain what to do. On Restart a Heart Day we’ll be giving people an opportunity to use this equipment – the next time you do it, you could be saving a life.”

The States of Jersey Ambulance Service and St John Ambulance will be in King Street, St Helier (between Hamons and Jack Wills) from 10am to 4pm on Tuesday 18 October; everyone is welcome to come and get to grips with a defibrillator or learn about other basic techniques that could save a life.

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