7:00am Saturday 2nd February 2013
By Sophia Sleigh
A paramedic is going to teach lifesaving lessons in the borough.
Sam Wilcox is a community resuscitation training officer for the London Ambulance Service (LAS).
She is going to encourage organisations in Sutton to get a defibrillator – a machine that can restart someone’s heart by delivering an electric shock.
Her role is funded by the British Heart Foundation to coordinate basic life support and “Heartstart” lessons in the community.
She said: “It’s really easy to learn how to save a life and it can make all the difference to someone’s chances of survival if they collapse and stop breathing.
“When a person suffers a cardiac arrest blood is no longer being pumped effectively around their body and oxygen is not reaching their brain. It’s vital that someone calls 999 for an ambulance, starts chest compressions and asks if there’s a defibrillator nearby.
“Everyone should feel confident to use a defibrillator as they are safer and easier to use than a fire extinguisher. If there were as many defibrillators around as fire extinguishers we’d see a lot more people surviving cardiac arrest.”
Carshalton South and Clockhousse councillor, Peter Fosdike, recently began a campaign for 24 hour access to defibrillators across the borough.
He said: "This very welcome and fantastic news for Sutton residents, coupled with the new Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group (SCCG), chaired by Dr Brendan Hudson, I hope to see a strong, widespread and lasting heart care strategy for the borough.
“Sutton Council has been working on identifying locations in co-operation with the LAS and SCCG and I hope to see more defibrillators in key locations soon."
To enquire about Heartstart lessons call 020 7783 2534 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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