An ambitious £1 million project that could help save the lives of people who have suffered a cardiac arrest has been unveiled by The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST).

EEAST has announced it will be installing 1,000 potentially life-saving defibrillators across the region, which includes 20 for Huntingdonshire.

The equipment, which delivers an electrical shock to restart the heart, can make a huge difference to outcomes if used in the vital first few minutes when a patient goes into cardiac arrest.

Anthony Marsh, chief executive of the ambulance service told The Hunts Post: “I’m delighted that we have started this important project to invest in the communities we serve by improving access to these life-saving devices in key locations.

“Our ambulance crews aim to arrive at the scene of a cardiac arrest within minutes. However, every second counts and having a defibrillator on scene can make the vital difference between life or death.”

The service aims to install all the defibrillators, which can be accessed by a member of the public, across the six counties in East Anglia by the end of March. Locations include schools, care homes, dental surgeries, village halls and libraries.

Each device costs the ambulance service £800 and training will be provided to staff working at the locations.

Andrew Barlow, community partnership manager for the trust, added: “There are hundreds of defibrillators already located across the trust; however, this investment will help to improve coverage in our communities and will undoubtedly help save lives and improve the outcomes for patients when they are called upon.”
INFORMATION: The trust is measured on two clinical outcomes for cardiac arrest patients. The first is how many patients have a pulse/heartbeat on arrival at hospital following resuscitation and the second is the rate of those who recover and are later discharged from hospital.

The 20 defibrillators have been placed at the following locations in Huntingdonshire: Sawtry Community College; St Peter’s School, St George’s Glatton Hall Care Home, Cromwell House Care Home, Ringshill Care Home, Hunters Down Care Home, Woodlands Care Home, Oaktrees Care Home, Oakleigh Residential Home, McArtney House Care Home, all in Huntingdon; Little Paxton Primary School; The Hillings Care Home and Cavendish Court Care Home, St Neots; Hill House Care Home, Ellington; Ramsey Dental Surgery; The Raptor Foundation; Abbey College, Ramsey; The Old Grammar School Dental Surgery and Field Lodge Care Home, St Ives; and Brookfield Care Home, Somersham.