Saving lives and starting hearts in Coldstream

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A HEART starting machine, so simple it can be used by anyone regardless of their medical knowlege, is to be placed in Coldstream for emergencies.

The £2,500 Life Saver appeal to buy the public asccess heart machine was launched on Saturday, at the Coldstream Community Centre Spring Forward event, and it got off to a flying start with plenty of interest and support from the community.

Coldstream Health Centre’s Patient Participation Group is organising the appeal, and chairman Simon Hogg is delighted with the response they have had so far.

Scottish Ambulance Service’s Brain Finlay attended the community centre event to explain both the simplicity and importance of having an easy to use, defibrillator close by, if anyone collapses with a heart attack.

When England Premiership footballer Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch last month and his heart stopped he survived because the medical team had a defibrillator that could be used immediately.

“It’s about you guys looking after yourselves,” said Brian.

“Hopefully the public access defibrillator will never be used but the important part of this is having it and also training people in basic skills.

“The Vinny Jonesadvert ‘Staying Alive’ advert has already saved 15 lives.

“If you collapse with a heart attack your chances of survival are around five per cent - if you were to collapse in this room now your survival rate is 85 per cent because the equipment and expertise is here. If you do CPR the survival chance is 50 per cent.”

The plan is to put the public access defibrillator on the wall outside the Town Hall. It needs to be in a steel box in order to keep the defibrillator at the correct temperature, and if the appeal proves so successful that more money is raised then the hope is to have a second machine placed elsewhere in the town.

In Scotland these public access machines are not locked, cutting down on valuable time, and once opened the machine literally talks you through each stage, repeating it as often as necessary.

Once you have placed the pads onto the person all decisions from then on are made by the machine which reads the patients heart rate and then carries out defibrillation if required, while the ambulance is on its way.

For further information and to make a donation contact Simon Hogg on 01890 883563.