Defibrillator scheme could save lives in Lichfield and Burntwood

One of the new defibrillator signs

One of the new defibrillator signs

Lives could be saved across Lichfield and Burntwood thanks to a new scheme.

West Midlands Ambulance Service has been developing a unique project to help the public easily identify where public access defibrillators are located.

Duncan Parsonage, WMAS Community Response Manager for South Staffordshire came up with the idea two years ago and has since been working hard developing and installing the signage throughout the West Midlands region.

Duncan explained:

“Whilst working out in the community I became increasing aware that a number of organisations hold public access defibrillators, however, the community were unaware of their location. The simple idea of displaying a sign on all premises that hold defibrillators will help the public easily identify where they can access this life saving piece of equipment, should the need ever arise.

“There are currently more than 1,900 defibrillator within the West Midlands region. Each location and its respective sign holds a unique identification number, which tallies up with database held within West Midlands Ambulance Service. This database can be used by the Emergency Operations Centre and allows call takers and dispatchers to be aware of defib locations. These defibrillators could then be used by a member of the public, on a patient, prior to the arrival of ambulance personnel.

“Approximately 850,000 adults suffer a cardiac arrest every year and ninety percent of them have the ability to be corrected by defibrillation. The more quickly a patient in cardiac arrest can be defibrillated the greater the chance of survival. For every minute a patient is in cardiac arrest, their chance of survival decreases by 10 percent, so this simple idea really could help to save lives!”

The scheme has already attracted interest from other areas who are keen to introduce a similar system.”

The project has been supported by Cardiac Science and Lichfield District Safer Safer Community Partnership who have sponsored the printing of the signage.

West Midlands Ambulance Service is currently appealing to any organisations who hold defibrillators but are not aware if they are on the database or have no identification signage to contact them via email on cfrs@wmas.nhs.uk or by calling Duncan Parsonage on 07793 040 321.

Similary, public places or organisations that are willing to install defibrillators are can find out more information by using the details above.

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