AFC Bournemouth has become the first location for a HeartSafe cabinet to be installed, under the Hearts & Goals campaign.
Kindly donated by local businesses Interlink Express and First Capital Finance, the defibrillator, in its highly visible green heated stainless steel cabinet, is located outside to the right of the main reception entrance at the Goldsands Stadium.
The potentially life-saving machine gives the heart an electric shock in the case of a cardiac arrest, and is the first of its kind to be fitted in a remote area in the UK.
Upon receiving a 999 call from a member of the public, the door of the defibrillator will be automatically opened via a mobile phone link by the South Western Ambulance Service.
The ambulance control officer will then ask the person making the 999 call if they wish to help and, if not alone with the patient, they will be directed to the nearest public access defibrillator.
The caller can then travel to the main entrance of the football ground where the cabinet is located to access the kit, before returning to the incident.
The control officer will also remain on the telephone giving assistance to the caller until professional help arrives.
As first team physio Steve Hard explained, the installation of the equipment so that it can be used not only by those within the club, but those nearby, could save lives.
“As first team physio I always have a defibrillator with me as it is a vital piece of equipment”, he told afcb.co.uk. “We have had one within the stadium for a long time, but this new one outside can be used by the general public in the case of an emergency, either nearby the ground when it is shut or in the Kings Park area.
“It is important to stop the delay between an ambulance arriving at the scene and treating the sufferer, because for every minute you don`t do CPR, the patient loses 10% chance of survival.”
“As well as offering my help if on site in the case of an emergency, my role is to ensure that I check the newly fitted defibrillator weekly, to ensure that it is always ready for use.”
The Hearts & Goals Campaign was started when Bolton Wanderers Football Club, in conjunction with Arrhythmia Alliance, decided to take action to prevent loss of life from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).
The idea came about after a defibrillator and CPR saved Wanderers player Fabrice Muamba`s life, following the SCA he experienced mid-way through the side`s FA Cup match against Tottenham in March.
Having a local AED that can be used by a layperson speeds up the process of an AED being deployed quickly.
This system has been in operation with AED Locator for over six years and cabinets throughout the UK have been accessed dozens of times.
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