When a heart attack strikes, minutes and seconds count
Each year two million journeys begin and end at Liberation Station – a perfect location for a publicly available defibrillator for use in the event of someone suffering a heart attack.
Thanks to a very generous donation from legal firm Appleby whose offices are just across the road from the station, equipment was ordered and installed by the Jersey Heart Support Group. Before the defibrillator was officially unveiled it was called into use. Bus station staff found themselves dealing with a woman who was suffering from a suspected heart attack. Fortunately she remained conscious until ambulance paramedics arrived and the defibrillator was not needed.
The incident underlined how quickly first aiders have to react. As part of the installation, Appleby are also funding training in first aid and use of defibrillators for staff volunteers at their firm and the bus station.
Publicly available defibrillators are in a locked cabinet and to get the simple code to unlock it you have to make a 999 call. That ensures the first and most important step is made when dealing with a medical emergency – making sure without delay that professional help is on the way. The defibrillator is very easy to use and a recorded voice automatically tells you what to do. The equipment makes its own diagnosis of the patient’s cardiac condition and will not activate uneccessarily.
Minutes and seconds count when someone collapses with a heart attack and that’s why the Jersey Heart Support Group (JHSG) has been involved with a long-standing project to make defibrillators widely available. Our first provision of a defibrillator was to the Bouley Bay Dive Centre back in 2012, just a short time after the JHSG was formed. Our most recent installation at Liberation Station was the 53rd.
The Group has equipped 34 schools in the island with defibrillators, eight more carried by police response vehicles and two have gone to community first reponders.
In more recent times the emphasis has been on making the equipment publicly available 24 hours a day in cabinets like the one mounted on the outside wall of Liberation Station. We are dedicated to improving cardiac care in Jersey and hope that widespread availability of defibrillators will not only save lives, but also encourage first aid training and signal that Jersey is a caring community for residents and visitors alike.
St John Ambulance show how to use a defibrillator