CPRE Warwickshire: Saving lives in Shipston on Stour

PUBLISHED: 16:01 26 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:57 20 February 2013

Trudie Lobban in Shipston on Stour

Trudie Lobban in Shipston on Stour

Nicholas Butler reports on a rural campaign to bring aid to heart attack victims in our villages and small towns.

CPRE Warwickshire: Saving lives in Shipston on Stour

Nicholas Butler reports on a rural campaign to bring aid to heart attack victims in our villages and small towns.

Automated External Defibrillator is a complicated collection of tongue-twisting polysyllables which could save your life.

Every day 250 people in the United Kingdom die from sudden cardiac arrest. This is a condition in which the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly due to a malfunction its electrical system. This malfunction is a life-threatening abnormal rhythm, an arrhythmia. Sudden cardiac arrest is caused by an abnormal heart rhythm, usually a ventricular fibrillation. There is rarely a warning and the patient always loses consciousness. Sudden cardiac arrest kills more people than lung cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined.

What would you do if someone collapsed in front of you? You would ring 999, would you not? And while the ambulance was on its way the emergency services operator would talk you through cardiopulmonary resuscitation and there would be a slim chance, about one in twenty, that the victim would recover.

However, if you could lay your hands on an Automated External Defibrillator the chances would improve. CPR plus early defibrillation can increase the survival rate from five to 50 per cent. So where are they? Some hospitals and medical centres have them, but increasingly they are housed in bright green metal cabinets situated in public places. So, if you knew where to find an AED what would happen? The Emergency Services Operator would give you a code to unlock the cabinet and tell you how to use the AED, which is no harder than using a telephone.

Did you know that there is an AED outside the George Hotel at Shipston-on-Stour? Nor did I until I was told about it. The eye passes incuriously over unfamiliar items of street furniture. And on the other side of the square, as it happens, above the toy shop, are the offices of Arrhythmia Alliance, the Heart Rhythm Charity that promotes the installation and use of AEDs throughout the United Kingdom.

Arrhythmia Alliance was founded in May 2004 by Trudie Lobban. She launched Restart the Heart, which facilitates and supports groups across the country that want to put AEDs in their localities.

The first AED in Warwickshire was installed outside Prontaprint in Stratford-upon-Avon; the second in Newbold-on-Stour, where Mrs. Lobban lives. Just recently there has been a drive put AEDs all over the Shipston area, and beside four in Shipston, at the George, the Shipston Medical Centre, the Ellen Badger Hospital and the Sports Centre, you can see them at Armscote, Blackwell, Tredington, Brailes and Alderminster..

Have you noticed the green cabinets? Perhaps not. Did you know that you yourself could, simply and easily, save a life? Well, you know now, but it is of vital importance that we all know, that everyone is shown how to use this equipment and knows where to find it.

To contact the Campaign to Protect Rural England, phone 01926 494597 or visit www.cprewarwickshire.org.uk


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