Health provision for Dartmouth - Installation of defibrillators

Over the last few days Brenda and I have had an experience that has lead to an idea for Dartmouth

While visiting my daughter, Caroline, in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk we agreed to meet for a coffee in town when we arrived. Caroline arrived a little late and slightly flustered but explained what had happened to delay her. While walking to the coffee shop with her two young children in a pushchair she noticed a crowd standing around an 80 year old man who had collapsed in the street.

When she looked at the man she could tell instantly that he had had a cardiac arrest (she is a Cardiac Physiologist in the local hospital so was acutely aware of the symptons). She immediately started to do CPR. Within a short time the ambulance had arrived, and  a little later emergency response vehicle, so the paramedics took over from Caroline. The Air Ambulance was called and the patient was taken to hospital. She asked to be kept informed of his progress and the paramedics called her later to say he was in hospital with his family and was recovering well. In these circumstances seconds count so I believe Dartmouth should invest to save lives.

To hear it in her own words I will include her account of the incident below.

Caroline Pryke on the left

Caroline Pryke is in Bury St Edmunds.

Yesterday I had my first experience of doing CPR on a member of the public. I’ve since realised in a crowd of people I was the only one that was able to quickly recognise he was having a cardiac arrest and seconds really count in this situation. There were also only two other people in that crowd that knew how to do chest compressions. I know many incredible people that do this as part of their day job and it’s such an important skill to have so if you don’t already know please learn as you can really save a life and maybe even that of a loved one. Know where your nearest automated defib is too (the Arc have one in BSE) #cprsaveslives #bhf #restartaheart @the_bhf

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This event lead me to think that now Dartmouth has no real health care facilities in the town it would be a great idea both to install a lot of Defibrillators around the town, and to train people on how to use them, but also to hold CPR training courses for as many people as possible. There are already paramedics in the town with the skills to do this and it simply takes the will and determination to make it happen.
I hope the group that is discussing our health provision will take up this idea and help to save lives in the town. Seconds count in these circumstances and without Caroline’s skills and knowledge I am sure the 80 year old man who collapsed in Bury St Edmunds would not be alive today.

Defibrillator locations in Dartmouth

I have now learnt that we do have Defibrillator’s in Dartmouth but their presence and location is news to me. So lets make sure everyone knows where these defibrillator’s are located and lets ask our Councillor’s why there are only 5 in Dartmouth and 14 in Kingsbridge?
Defibrillators in Dartmouth
This was the article published in the East Anglian Times:

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  1. The Kingsbridge defibrillators have been put in place by the Estuary Rotary Club nitbthe town council. There have been an number that have been sponsored by private enterprise. Instead of pointing the finger at the Town Council surely it would be more beneficial to ask such questions of the Rotary club, the Old Dartmothians, private busines and more of importantly the Dartmouth Community Defibrillator Fund. They seem to be being overlooked in all suggestions of placement of the equipment. They have the knowledge avenues and the expertise. The Council cannot and should not be responsible for them. The reason that Kingsbridge has then is because the community pulled together to get them rather dropping them at the feet of the authority and leaving them to it.

  2. I wonder how many people were aware of the Dartmouth Community Defibrillator Fund! OK Fred accepted that the community can drive this initiative but why not the Town Council. If you dont want to play a part in the health provision in the town that’s fine. So at least we now know that the community must make this happen because the Council wont. Any other suggestions from our readers?

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