Home > Info > Health and Wellbeing > Defibrillators

Defibrillators

Residents of Woolpit now have access to 3 Defibrillators in the village. They are located as follows:

  1. Woolpit Health Centre, Heath Road
  2. Woolpit Cricket Club, Rectory Lane          
  3. Woolpit Tennis Club, Rectory Lane

    

To access the defibrillator at both the Health Centre and the Cricket Club, you will need to call 999 to receive the release code which will allow you to remove the device and take it to the patient. At the Tennis Club, access would only be whilst there are players on court or if you have a key for the courts (all tennis club members have a key). You will see that the Tennis Club defibrillator does not need a release code and can be taken immediately to the patient.

 

What is a Defibrillator?

A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest. This high energy shock is called defibrillation, and it's an essential part in trying to save the life of someone who’s in cardiac arrest. A defibrillator may also be referred to as a “defib”, an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) or a PAD (Public Access Defibrillator).

 

4 steps to take if someone is having a cardiac arrest

Cardiac arrests can happen to anyone, at any time. The following steps give someone the best chance of survival. If you come across someone in cardiac arrest:

  • Call 999
  • Start CPR
  • Ask someone to bring a defibrillator if there’s one nearby (if no one is available to get one, listen to the emergency operator for further instructions)
  • Turn on the defibrillator and follow its instructions.

  

Who can use a defibrillator?

You don’t need to be trained to use a defibrillator – anyone can use it. They are simple and easy to use and you don't need any training. There are clear instructions on how to attach the defibrillator pads. It then assesses the heart rhythm and will only instruct you to deliver a shock if it’s needed. You can't deliver a shock accidentally, the defibrillator will only allow you to shock if it is needed.

 

CPR in 5 steps

Step 1: Shake and shout

If you come across someone who is unconscious, always check for danger and look for risks before you start helping.

Someone having a cardiac arrest will either not be breathing or they won’t be breathing normally. They also won’t be conscious.

  • Check for a response – gently shake the person’s shoulders and ask loudly 'are you alright?'
  • Shout for help – if someone is nearby, ask them to stay as you might need them. If you are alone, shout loudly to attract attention, but don't leave the person.

 

Step 2: Call 999

If the person is not breathing or not breathing normally:

  • Ask someone to call 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance
  • Ask someone for a public access defibrillator (PAD).

If there's no one around call 999 before starting compressions.

 

Step 3: Cover mouth and nose with cloth.

If you think there's a risk of infection, lay a towel or a piece of clothing over the mouth and nose. Don't put your face close to theirs. 

If you're sure the person is breathing normally, then put them in the recovery position.

 

Step 4: Give chest compressions

Do not give rescue breaths at this time.

  • Kneel next to the person.
  • Place the heel of one hand in the centre of their chest. Place your other hand on top of the first. Interlock your fingers.
  • With straight arms, use the heel of your hand to push the breastbone down firmly and smoothly, so that the chest is pressed down between 5–6 cm, and release.
  • Do this at a rate of 100 to 120 chest compressions per minute – that’s around 2 per second.

Step 5:  Keep going

Keep going until professional help arrives and takes over, or the person starts to show signs of regaining consciousness, such as coughing, opening their eyes, speaking, or breathing normally.

If you’re feeling tired, and there’s someone nearby to help, instruct them to continue.

 

What is the Recovery Position in First Aid?

The recovery position is used to protect the airway of an unconscious patient. If a patient is unconscious and lying on their back, there is a risk of the airway becoming blocked due to the tongue or by regurgitation of stomach contents. This situation can be fatal within minutes, as the patient will be unable to breathe.

 

How to Place Someone into the Recovery Position

Follow these steps to place an unconscious, but breathing, patient into the recovery position:

  • Check for and carefully remove any bulky objects in the pockets nearest to you 
  • Place the nearest arm palm up in an outward position. If it will not bend into a right angle just let it relax away from the body 
  • Bring further arm across the body towards you, place the back of their hand against their face and hold it there with the palm of your hand, you do not need to interlock fingers or to grasp the thumb. 
  • Reach across the furthest leg and grasp the outer thigh near the knee to raise the knee. The foot must remain on the ground and does not need to be placed under the nearest thigh. It is more respectful if you able to reach across the body rather than placing your hand between the legs to raise the thigh 
  • Pulling on the thigh near the knee carefully pull the patient towards you. This must not be a quick “flick” but a careful controlled movement 
  • Once on their side, bring the top knee up at right angles to support the body 
  • Carefully lower the head to the floor 
  • Open the airway and re-check for normal breathing 
  • Check – jaw forward, mouth low and chest clear of the ground 
  • Call for emergency medical help if not already done 
  • Monitor the patient, checking pulse, respirations and level of consciousness
  • Perform a secondary survey (a head-to-toe check for any injuries) 
  • Check for medical alerts, diabetic cards, SOS talismans and other items that may indicate a pre-existing medical condition