Residents in Hove and a heart charity have clubbed together to buy a lifesaving defibrillator for a local park.
The public access defibrillator has been fitted to the outside of the Wish Park Café, in Wish Park, Hove.
Emergency medicine consultant Rob Galloway, who lives in West Hove, showed a group of residents how easy it was to use the defibrillator.
He also showed them how to resuscitate someone who has suffered a heart attack.
Dr Galloway said: “We hope it will never be used but it could save a life if it is.
“If someone has a heart attack, they can go on to have a cardiac arrest where the electrics of the heart go ‘haywire’ and they die within a couple of minutes.
“The thing which can stop them dying is doing CPR (pressing up and down on the chest – forget about the kiss of life) and using a defibrillator to send electricity through the heart to jumpstart the heart.
“These defibrillators can be used by any member of the public and there is no need for training to use them.
“In addition they cannot cause any harm as unless a shock is needed it will not deliver one.”
The purchase of the defibrillator was organised by local residents, the Wish Park Café, West Hove Dynamos FC, who are based in Wish Park, and the Sussex Heart Foundation. The charity provided a large grant to go along with the £450 raised by residents.
Dr Galloway, who works in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, in Brighton, said: “These are lifesaving devices and can be used by anyone.
“If you see someone who has collapsed and has no signs of life, call 999, start CPR and get someone to get the defibrillator. The 999 operators will give the access code to you.
“Turn on the defibrillator and do as it says. We know they work.
“The Sussex Heart charity provided eight for the Amex Stadium and there have been three cardiac arrests there in the last five years – each one surviving and coming back to watch more Albion matches.
“Without these defibrillators, they would all have died.”
For those interested in the work of the Sussex Heart Charity, visit www.sussexheartcharity.org.
Futher information on the public access defibrillator in Wish Park can be found here.
For further information on training for the Wish Park defibrillator, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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