Estimates vary, but fewer than 1 in 10 people in the UK survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The chances of survival increase from around 6% to 75% if a defibrillator is available. For every minute someone is in cardiac arrest without CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) and access to a defibrillator their chance of survival drops by up to 10%.
Why does Great Coxwell need one?
The risk of heart disease such as the heart stopping (cardiac arrest) or having a dangerously abnormal rhythm (cardiac arrythmia) increases with age. These conditions can be improved or rectified by defibrillation and lives can be saved.
Data from a 2019 survey indicate that there are at least 150 parishioners over the age of 60 in Great Coxwell. Furthermore, the popularity of the National Trust's Great Barn and events such as the monthly teas and Art Week attract many visitors to the village thereby further increasing the risk of the incidence of an acute episode of life-threatening heart disease.
Defibrillators are a common sight in towns, retail outlets, leisure centres and in villages. In Oxfordshire, local to Great Coxwell, they can be found in many local villages.
There is an urgent need for Great Coxwell to acquire and install its own device. The nearest ones to the village are found outside the Little Eagle pub in Little Coxwell (0.71 miles) and the Faringdon Community College (1.06 miles). Fetching a device from either of these locations if someone suffers a heart attack in the village could lead to a potentially fatal delay. Furthermore, some devices only work within 250-1000 metres of their cabinet and so it is possible that these devices might not be operable, even if bought back to Great Coxwell in time.
Where will it be sited?
The Parish Council has kindly agreed that the defibrillator can be sited on the outside wall of the Parish Reading Room.
What happens if we need to use it?
If someone collapses, is a funny colour or you can’t find a heart-beat or pulse:
Call 999, start CPR, send someone to fetch the defibrillator; listen to the ambulance service’s advice and follow the instructions on the device. The in-built computer software in the defibrillator will prevent the machine from administering a shock unless it is indicated.
Will we need trained operators to use it?
No formal training is required by anyone using the defibrillator as the device provides instructions on its use and it will always be used under the supervision of the ambulance service (see above). However, some providers of defibrillating equipment will provide free First Aid training as part of their ‘package’ to communities, and we have also identified experienced First Aid trainers who live locally and may be able to arrange training sessions with them for parishioners who wish to undertake it.
Who’ll look after it?
We have a group of 10 local volunteers who are willing to help with the weekly checks on the device and the monthly on-line returns to the ambulance service. (There are plenty of people who support the project and are willing to help. Karen and Ian Mason, from Orchard End will coordinate the team of volunteers to ensure that there is always adequate cover.)
What about running costs and maintenance?
The maintenance costs for the device are extremely small. The electricity costs are negligible - around £3.00 per annum and the Parish Council has kindly agreed to cover this amount. The batteries need to be replaced roughly once every 5 years – and usually after each use - and cost around £170. The pads and other consumables need to be replaced every two to five years, depending on the defibrillator model – and after any use - and the cost is around £80.
How you can help:
We are aiming to raise £1600 for the purchase of a defibrillator for Great Coxwell. The Parish Community fund has pledged £500 towards this project and we have already received several generous pledges from local residents towards the scheme. The Parish Council has agreed to pay for the electrical installation costs. However, we are still some way from achieving our target.
Please consider supporting this valuable, potentially life-saving initiative. The crowd-funding bank account details are: Account name: ‘Miss Pamela Holley’; Sort code: 40-18-37; Account number: 41390872. Don’t forget to add your name as a reference so we know who the money’s from. Or you can drop cheque off here at Orchard End, if you prefer. (With thanks to Pam for setting up this dedicated account to hold the funds)
(In the event that donations exceed our target, £500 will be retained for running costs, consumables and maintenance of the device for the next 5 years and the balance will be transferred to the Parish Community Fund to enable them to continue to support worthwhile projects and events within our community.)
Thank you in anticipation of your support
Ian & Karen Mason
For more details about the defibrillator project contact Ian & Karen Mason at Orchard End (firstname.lastname@example.org)