An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable unit, designed for people without a medical background, which can administer an electrical shock to a heart attack victim. Thanks to fundraising efforts within the village, Chedworth has three such defibrillators located around the village – available to the public at all times.
Following a cardiac arrest, the chance of survival decreases by 23% per minute. Given Chedworth’s location, and the layout of the village, emergency ambulances can take up to 40 minutes to arrive. Such a wait will seriously affect a heart attack victim’s chances of survival.
Research shows that while standard CPR (the traditional ‘first-aid’ approach) on a heart attack victim provides a 5% chance of survival, access to defibrillation improves that chance to 50%.
- If you suspect someone is having a heart attack, dial 999 immediately.
- The Emergency Control Centre is aware of the defibrillators in Chedworth and will give you a code to unlock the cabinet
- Access the machine and bring it to the victim.
They will also talk you through how to use the machine, although the unit has its own automated instructions using a synthesised voice. Attached to each AED unit is a pack containing other items helpful in such a situation.
The three units are designed to require very little maintenance. Each is housed in a locked, weatherproof cabinet, which is also heated to ensure the defibrillator pads are always ready for use. They are regularly checked by the people named below and any problems should be reported to them or to the Parish Council Clerk, Elizabeth Broad on 720313.
- In the eXbox (red telephone box) at the bottom of Hemplands Hill (Derek Newman on 721052).
- In the entrance porch to the Village Hall (Peter Heaps on 721182).
- In the entrance porch to the Seven Tuns (Paul Sibbald on 720016).
Volunteers within the village also know the code and have received training sessions relating to use of the AED. Installation of the defibrillators was instigated by Chedworth Parish Council. CPC is very grateful to the Community Heartbeat Trust, a national charity working to make cPADs more widely available, for its support, enthusiasm and advice with developing the Chedworth scheme.
The defibrillators were funded by generous donations from the Chedworth Oil Club, the NFU Mutual Community Giving Fund, the Chedworth Society, the Chedworth & District Conservative Association, the Pete Heaps’ fund-raising golf day and other anonymous individuals. The Council is grateful to those who helped to install the equipment and to the Great Western Ambulance Service for its ongoing support with defibrillator maintenance, technical and training issues. Thanks are also due to the Village Hall Committee and the Seven Tuns.