FERNWOOD’S EMERGENCY DEFIBRILLATORS – WHERE TO FIND THEM AND HOW TO USE THEM

There are two working defibrillators on Fernwood.
You may have noticed them at the entrance to the village hall or on the fence outside the school and wondered how to use them or gain access in an emergency.
Hopefully this page will help. If it does, please share with your Fernwood friends and neighbours. We all hope never to have to use a defibrillator – but you could save a life by being informed.

WHAT IS A DEFIBRILATOR?

A defibrillator is used to help someone in cardiac arrest. It gives controlled electric shocks to the heart through the chest wall.

FIRST STEPS…

If you suspect someone is having a heart attack call 999 for an ambulance IMMEDIATELY.

Stay with the patient when making the call. The 999 ambulance call handler will pick up the approximate location of the call automatically and that will help to get an ambulance despatched more quickly.

The call handler will ask two questions:

– Is the patient breathing?
– Is the patient conscious?

The call handler will talk you through what to do next.

– You may be asked to administer CPR (manual chest compressions) whilst waiting for the paramedics.

– Former footballer Vinnie Jones explains CPR in his short ‘hard and fast’ video here

If the call handler determines that a defibrillator is required and there is one close by, they will ask you to send someone to fetch it.

– They will not do this is you are alone with the patient as the patient must not be left unattended.

The defibrillator, if required, is normally used as well as CPR, not instead of. You will usually be asked to keep the compressions going whilst waiting for the ambulance, the 999 call handler will guide you.

WHERE ARE THE DEFIBRILATORS ON FERNWOOD LOCATED?

One is outside the entrance to the village hall – opposite the One Stop shop on Ruby’s Avenue.

The other is one on the external fence at Chuter Ede Primary School on Hunters Road.

HOW DO I GAIN ACCESS TO A DEFIBRILATOR IN AN EMERGENCY?

It’s very simple. Call 999 and ask for the ambulance service.

All defibrillators are registered with the ambulance service and, if one is needed, they will tell you where the nearest is located.

The 999 ambulance call handler will give you a four-digit code to open the box to access the defibrillator.

– Press the letter “C” on the keypad followed by the four-digit code

When you’re with the patient, to start the defibrillator, just open the lid.

The call handler will usually stay on the line and talk you through chest compressions and using the defibrillator.

– Defibrillators also come with very helpful audio and written instructions. Stay calm and follow these carefully if the 999 call handler is not on the line – do not jump the gun.

PLEASE NOTE SPECIALLY:

You MUST do hard and fast chest compressions immediately and before the defibrillator arrives. This is like ‘priming the pump’. A defibrillator is unlikely to work unless chest compressions have been undertaken.

Do not touch the patient whilst the defibrillator is analysing the situation, or when the defibrillator is delivering a shock.

The defibrillator will not administer a shock if it detects a heartbeat in the patient or if giving a shock provides no benefit to the patient.

– The defibrillator is a clever device designed only to shock a patient in cardiac arrest. If the patient is NOT in cardiac arrest, it will not administer a shock. The defibrillator is programmed to make that decision.

WHO PROVIDES AND MAINTAINS THE DEFIBRILALTORS?

The Fernwood defibrillators were paid for from funds given to the Fernwood Residents’ Association by David Wilson Homes and supplied by the Community Heartbeat Trust charity. The village hall defibrillator is maintained on a voluntary basis by Fernwood’s community first responders with replenishment and repair costs paid for by Fernwood Parish Council, whilst the one located at Chuter Ede is looked after by the school.