Defibs can and do save lives. A cardiac arrest, when the heart suddenly stops, can come out of nowhere. The defib provides an electrical shock to start the heart pumping again. We hear that people of all ages, including young people and teenagers, can suffer a cardiac arrest and that is where the defib does its work to save lives. If it saves one life while it is here in Tuttington then it has more than done its job. It is also good to know that there is a defib available should one be needed.
The location of a community defib is also important. Defibs are not usually located in a central location so that all residents have access to it from their homes. This is usually not practical nor really how the defib is designed to operate. Defibs are generally located where people congregate and in a village this might be a village hall, school or sports field. Since we have none of these in Tuttington, the two possible locations for us are the church – which stands in for a village hall in addition to its devotional purpose – and The Green. The church was chosen because it has a readily available power supply and the Tuttington Church Friends have agreed to pay the electricity bill to keep the defib running.
Instructions on how to use the defib are on the front of the locked box containing the unit. Basically, you follow the instructions on the defib door. You first call 999 (or 112) and tell the operator where you are. They will give you a code to unlock the door to the defib and guide you through the process to use the defib itself. The 999 operator will tell you if the patient is suitable for the defib treatment. The defib is a clever machine that does most of the work for you. It listens to the patient’s heart, works out if a shock is needed and then delivers the required treatment to get the heart started again. Meanwhile, the emergency services will have been dispatched to your location. Try to stay calm and don’t panic!
The defib is one of those things we hope is never needed in Tuttington, but it’s good to know we have one.