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Life-Saving Device Donated To Stratford-Upon-Avon Community

Friday, 16 January 2009

People living in Stratford-upon-Avon will soon have access to a life-saving piece of equipment that could help someone suffering from a cardiac arrest.

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED), donated by Laerdal, an international manufacturer of medical devices and equipment, has been fitted outside Prontaprint on Greenhill Street for use by members of the public in the event of an emergency.

The device, which could mean the difference between life and death for someone suffering from a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), will be officially launched for use in the community on Wednesday 21st January at the Prontaprint centre.

The Mayor of Stratford-upon-Avon, Councillor Mrs Joyce Taylor, will perform the opening ceremony and unveil the AED. During the launch guests will be able to learn more about using the AED to help save lives. There will be an awareness demonstration of the device by West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS), showing how easy it is to operate and addressing concerns about its use. Local businesses and residents are also invited to attend an AED awareness and training session, again led by WMAS, on Tuesday 27th January at the Civic Hall from 9.30am-12.30pm.

In the event of a SCA, the first seven to eight minutes are critical, with early defibrillation increasing a person's chances of survival from five percent to 50 percent.

The AED has been introduced to the town with the support of the Arrhythmia Alliance (The Heart Rhythm Charity) and Prontaprint. The launch of the device is the culmination of many months of preparation by the charity and print and design specialist, who recognised the need for life saving equipment that could be used by the general public 24 hours a day.

It was donated to Prontaprint following more than ten years of support to the Arrhythmia Alliance - providing a full range of services from the organisation of print and design, to exhibition work and charity fundraising.

Alex Graham, from Prontaprint in Stratford-Upon-Avon, comments: "Our work with the Arrhythmia Alliance over the years has highlighted the importance of introducing life-saving equipment for use in local communities.

"We are proud to be involved in introducing the first AED to Stratford-upon-Avon and, with the continued support of residents and businesses, we hope this will be the first of many to be placed in and around the area."

Trudie Lobban, from Arrhythmia Alliance, added:  "Approximately 100,000 people die each year from SCA in the UK, the equivalent of a jumbo jet crashing every single day, it is estimated that 80% could be avoided and 12 percent of which happen in public places. 

"Sudden Cardiac Arrest can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. Facilitating placements of AEDs across local communities is a vital part of the work of Arrhythmia Alliance. It is essential that residents are aware of, and can feel confident to use, the AED in an emergency. It is important that this life-saving equipment is accessible to all - 24/7.  With greater awareness about the Number one killer in the UK, thousands of lives can be saved.  We invite everyone to come along and learn about this life-saving equipment."





Note to Editors

  • Cardiac arrest is the sudden, unexpected loss of heart function. It is caused by a problem with the electrical system of the heart. It is not a heart attack.
  • § 100,000 sudden cardiac deaths each year. It kills more people than lung cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined.
  • § Sudden cardiac death can occur within a matter of minutes if rapid CPR and defibrillation are not administered
  • § CPR alone = 5% survival rate, CPR + AED = 50% survival rate
  • § An AED is a portable life - saving device that analyses the heart rhythm and administers an electrical charge to the heart if needed, to establish a regular heartbeat in the event of a cardiac arrest.
  • § AEDs have visual prompts and voice prompts which talk the resuscitator through the resuscitation process. The devices are failsafe and will not administer a shock unless a particular irregular heart beat is detected.
  • § AEDs are housed in protective, weatherproof, highly visible green cabinets.
  • § Cabinets are code locked. Emergency services can provide the code, if necessary, when 999 is dialled in emergency.
  • § Arrhythmia Alliance is a coalition of charities, patient groups, patients, carers, medical groups and allied professionals. A-A promotes the timely and effective diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias.
  • § A-A is running a national campaign to place AEDs in every local community. We promote the placement of AEDs in public places with 24 hr access.
  • § Prontaprint can be contacted at 20 Greenhill Street, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire CV37 6LF or by telephone on 01789 204272.