Lifesaving device donated to Minsthorpe

Fresh from joining a national lifesaving campaign, Wakefield sudden cardiac arrest survivor Chris Solomons is donating an automated external defibrillator (AED) to Minsthorpe Community College, South Elmsall on Wednesday 9th October.

It was at a recent event, the Emergency Fire & Safety Conference & Exhibition in Belfast where Chris’s wife Pam won the lifesaving AED in a prize draw supported by Heartsine Technologies Ltd. Chris was invited to the event to speak about his own sudden cardiac arrest and recovery.

Bringing the device back to Yorkshire, the fifty-one-year-old was eager that the AED, the same device that saved his life in August 2010, would be donated as part of the Hearts & Goals campaign. He said:

We were so lucky to bag the lifesaving defibrillator in the prize draw.

Pam chose to donate the AED to Minsthorpe Community College as she was a student there herself. I am thrilled to be donating it to the school, should it ever be used it could save a life.

AEDs (automated external defibrillators) do not require training and can be used by anyone to shock a person’s heart back into normal rhythm if they suffer a sudden cardiac arrest. They increase the chance of someone surviving from 5% to 50%.

Chris joined Hearts & Goals, run by Arrhythmia Alliance, in partnership with ex-footballer Fabrice Muamba earlier this year. He has since gone on to raise funds and become an honorary ambassador for the campaign, which aims to tackle sudden cardiac arrest, the UK’s biggest killer, by raising awareness and helping communities across the UK place lifesaving AEDs.

Chris was working as an emergency medical dispatcher for Yorkshire Ambulance Service and he and his colleagues were being filmed for the BBC’s Helicopter Heroes series when he collapsed with cardiac arrest, in July 2010.

The grandfather-of-three was rescued by colleagues and went on to make a full recovery.

Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder and CEO of Arrhythmia Alliance said:

Chris continues to inspire us with his dedication to the campaign and work to raise awareness and educate the public on sudden cardiac arrest.

We are working in schools to support the placement of AEDs, Minsthorpe is now much safer in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.

We really are honoured that Chris, through firsthand experience, has taken our lifesaving goals to heart.

To support Chris please visit www.justgiving.com/chris-solomons

Visit www.heartsandgoals.org for more information.

There will be a photo call at the school conference centre at 10:30am ahead of the donation. Yorkshire Ambulance Service will also be at the school on the day to offer training to students and staff. Please email andrew@heartrhythmcharity.org.uk for more information.

Facts, figures and important points:

  1. Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a heart rhythm disorder that results in 100,000 deaths in the UK each year, killing more people than lung cancer, breast cancer and Aids combined
  2. When CPR is administered to someone who has suffered an SCA, they have just a 9% chance of survival
  3. When CPR and an AED (a defibrillator) are used together, the average chance of survival goes up to 50%, a five-fold increase over CPR alone
  4. If used in the first four minutes after SCA, defibrillators can give victims an 80% chance of survival – a massive 16-fold increase compared to CPR alone. However, the survival rate drops by 14% for every additional minute
  5. AEDs are defibrillators that any member of the public can use without training to resuscitate someone who has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest
  6. AEDs come equipped with an internal computer and automated voice, which guides users through every step. They monitor heart activity once pads are fitted to the patient and instruct the user accordingly based on the readings they take. AEDs also internally self-test, provide a clear indication with a green or red light whether there is any fault and hosts are fully trained on the daily checking procedures

Notes:

  1. Arrhythmia Alliance is a coalition of patients, charities, professional medical organisations and industry groups that works to promote the timely diagnosis and effective management of arrhythmias. By raising awareness and campaigning for the improved detection and care of heart rhythm disorders, Arrhythmia Alliance aims to extend and improve the lives of the millions around the world that these conditions affect.
  2. Since footage of Chris Solomons dramatic rescue was put on the charity’s YouTube channel in February, it has received an amazing 222,000 hits, with people around the world contacting Chris to find out more about his incredible rescue. It can be viewed here www.youtube.com/watch?v=w32PUDL2lb8
  3. The Hearts & Goals website can be found at www.heartsandgoals.org
  4. The Arrhythmia Alliance website can be found at www.heartrhythmcharity.org.uk
  5. To learn more, or to arrange an interview, please contact Andrew Robson at andrew@heartrhythmcharity.org.uk, 01789 520 311.