North Stainley has a Community Public Access Defibrillator (CPAD) which is kept in a yellow box on the Village Hall veranda, facing the recreation ground. The only way to access the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) which it contains, is to dial 999 (or 112). Would you know when to use it and what to do with it? If not, please read on - it may save someone's life.
A defibrillator (AED) is a piece of medical equipment which can help restore a normal heart rhythm in the event of a cardiac arrest. If you come across someone who is not breathing or breathing erratically you may need to use the AED to restart their heart. The equipment is designed with untrained users in mind and it will talk you through the process with a series of voice prompts. You can't 'get it wrong' and you may save a life by following the machine's instructions. Remember, when someone goes into cardiac arrest, every minute without defibrillation and CPR reduces their chances of recovery by 10%.
First things first though and the first thing to do is dial 999 and ask for the ambulance service. If you know how to perform CPR start it immediately. The operator will ask you a series of questions to identify whether the defibrillator is likely to help the casualty and, if so, you will be given the access code and asked to send someone to get it. If you are alone and performing CPR, don't interrupt it to go and fetch the defibrillator. Call for help and send someone else.
Once the defibrillator is open and in position, all you have to do is follow the spoken instructions. There may also be a screen or diagrams to help you. Once connected to the casualty, the machine takes care of things and, if it detects a particular heart rhythm, it will deliver the appropriate shock. Some AEDs require you to press the shock button; others will do it automatically. You may be instructed to restart CPR until the ambulance or paramedic team arrives.
The ambulance team may ask you to return the AED to its box and will arrange for it to be taken 'off-grid'. This prompts a local guardian to check the machine and renew any used items. Once this is done, the village AED goes back 'on grid' and is ready for use again.