Rishton Defibrillators

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Wednesday 31st May 2006 saw defibrillators fitted in Rishton for the first time.

Life-savers from all parts of the community were recruited to use emergency heart-starting machines in Rishton.

A butcher, a community police officer, a club steward and a chemist were amongst the everyday heroes-in-waiting who were ready to use the defibrillator.

They were all trained to use the devices, which sent an electrical current through two pads attached to the chest of a cardiac arrest victim.

This would restart a stopped heart or restore the heart's natural rhythm.

Health chiefs hailed the training as "ground-breaking".

It comes after the device was used by NHS staff from a Rishton GP surgery to save the life of a pensioner who had collapsed in the town's library.

Peter Norman, who ran a butchers shop in High Street, is one of the eight people who have been taught how to use the defibrillator by the clinic.

He said: "I thought it was a very worthwhile thing to do. It was difficult at first but as we worked through the training I got quite used to it. I hope I never have to use it, I don't know how I would feel. Would I be nervous? I don't know. It is important the community works together, it is what is needed in places like Rishton."


Peter Norman holds aloft a defibrillator in his butchers shop on High Street.

Community support officer Steve Charnley said: "If anybody has gone down with any kind of heart problems then it is better than nothing at all. I feel confident to use it. It is very simple. The machine even tells you how to use it, as soon as it is opened it starts talking to you."

The machine is kept at Rishton Clinic, in High Street, and was bought with £2,000 worth of donations from patients and relatives.

Margaret Boyer, district nursing sister at the clinic, said: "If anyone were to collapse of a heart attack in Rishton, the machine would be available to get the heart going again. Speed is vital in the case of heart attacks the quicker the shock from a defibrillator is given, the greater the chance of success."

She said an elderly man had collapsed in Rishton Library where its staff immediately got the machine from the clinic.

Staff from a GP practice and paramedics used the machine which "saved his life", Mrs Boyer said.

Other people who have been trained include Rishton WMC steward, Malcolm Cummings and pharmacist Bhupendra Kotecha, who said: "I certainly think it's a good idea. Without the training we wouldn't have known what to do at the library."

A Hyndburn and Ribble Valley NHS Primary Care Trust spokesman said the training was "ground-breaking".

References

Lancashire Telegraph, 31st May 2006.