The Woodlarks Centre have a Defibrillator situated in the main car park. Defibrillators save lives and having one close by is essential if fast action is to take place in an emergency. 30,000 people suffer from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year in the UK and unfortunately only 1 in 10 survive, it is essential that by-standers know how to respond. Defibrillators (also known as AEDs) are medical devices that help and support a rescue for a patient
Some Farnham residents have worked towards the establishment of a new independent community organisation to focus local residents on the importance of public access defibrillators. They are The Aston Defibrillator Fund. They have formed a community hub of local defibrillator sites. The Woodlarks Centre were able to purchase a discounted defibrillator with donations from the Farnham Charity Shop through the Aston Defibrillator Fund and they also supplied technical knowledge and guidance, advice on location, cabinet placement and security.
The Aston Defibrillator fund, specifically works with the community to achieve its three primary objectives:
1. To ‘oversee and support the maintenance, repair and replacement of existing public access defibrillator (PAD), or their accessories, and to expand the provision of PAD’s within our community’
2. To help the community to ensure a maintenance plan is in place for the monitoring of the PAD such that they are all available for use if needed by any member of the public.
3. To work with Farnham Town Council and the local press to compile, publish and update a list of all PAD in the area, thus raising awareness of the location of these lifesaving pieces of equipment.
How do I use a defibrillator?
Defibrillators are very easy to use. Although they don’t all look the same, they all function in broadly the same way. You don’t need training to use one. The machine gives clear spoken instructions – all you have to do is follow them – and you cannot do a patient any harm by using a defibrillator – it won’t shock someone unless they need it.
If you come across someone who is unconscious, unresponsive, and not breathing or not breathing normally, there are most likely to be in cardiac arrest. The most important thing is to call 999 and start CPR to keep the blood flowing to the brain and around the body. After a cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces someone’s chance of survival by approximately 10 per cent.
When you call 999, the operator will stay on the line with you until professional help arrives. The ambulance service will give you clear instructions on how to do CPR and will tell you if there’s a public access defibrillator nearby.
If you’re on your own, don’t interrupt the CPR to go and get a defibrillator. If it’s possible, send someone else to find one. Keeping CPR going once started is absolutely vital. Take a look at the Aston Defibrillator Funds’ website at www.astondefibs.org.uk for a short video on how to safely perform CPR in the current Covid crisis or sign up for a course to be taught at www.hearstartfarnhamlions.co.uk