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Help now on hand 24/7 for cardiac arrest sufferers

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: January 29, 2014

READY TO GO: Rotary Club members Martin Austen, Paul Dixon, John Hurst and Graham Holland with PCSO Natalie Phillips and Lee Belcher, front left, from the Co-op, with the defibrillator which has been fitted outside the store.

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LOSTWITHIEL'S first lifesaving defibrillator has been installed outside the town's Co-op supermarket.

The device can be used by any member of the public to treat someone suffering a cardiac arrest. If administered swiftly, defibrillation greatly improves survival chances.

The public access defibrillator (PAD) has been funded by the town's Rotary Club which worked with the Ronnie Richards Memorial Charity to fit the device.

Co-operative Food is the main retail partner of the Penzance charity, which plans to fit PADs at a number of Co-op supermarkets in Cornwall.

A PAD is an automated external defibrillator (AED), which gives step-by-step instructions to the user, who has ideally received training but can be a layman.

Charity founder Paul Williams said: "The support of the Co-op has been so important, and placing defibrillators in or outside food stores makes so much sense with their community locations and long opening hours."

A second PAD is expected to be installed at Lostwithiel Community Centre shortly, paid for through mayor Gill Parson's charity fund.

Lostwithiel Rotarian Graham Holland said the town's PCSO Natalie Phillips had launched a campaign for more AEDs in the area after a man collapsed after suffering a heart attack last Easter.

She and a colleague had carried out CPR until paramedics and the air ambulance arrived, but the patient later died in hospital.

The £1,400 cost of the PAD was met from fundraising events in the club and a £500 grant from Rotary International District 1290, which covers Cornwall and West Devon.

Mr Holland said: " A defibrillator is very much needed in a place like Lostwithiel. In a sense, we all hope it'll never actually have to be used to treat someone who's suffered a heart attack, but it's now there in case that happens."

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