Portable defibrillators save lives

9 November 2009

Taranaki DHB Cardiologist Dr Ian Ternouth says that if you can get to a patient who cardiac arrests in the first five minutes then you will probably save a life.

“And these defibrillators are the way to do it,” said Dr Ternouth. “They are portable, easy enough for a five year old to use and they save lives.”

The passionate cardiologist who has accessed a number of Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs), through cardiology clinical trials he is running at Taranaki Base Hospital is putting them into gyms around the province beginning with “Kiwi Life’ in Hawera, and one at Rampage Fitness in New Plymouth. The idea of putting the defibrillators into the community came with one cardiac trial giving some of the portable devices away to the trial.

“This is a way for Taranaki patients to put back into the community,” said Dr Ternouth. “ We need patients to agree to be involved in the trials (we have a very high uptake) and that allows us to fund the defibrillators. If patients didn’t agree we couldn’t do it and then we wouldn’t learn. Doing trials is how we get better.”

Taranaki DHB Resuscitation co-ordinator Nicky Lumb trains staff to use the machine and then
ensures that the device is keep up to date.

The AEDs are a lightweight portable machine that is a combination of chest compression and
defibrillator, with a very high success rate.

“They are a great device. They are really simple, and they work,” she said.

Dr Ternouth and Nicky Lumb will be at Rampage Fitness on Gills Street on Wednesday at 10.30am at Rampage Fitness Gym demonstrating to staff how to use the defibrillators. The media are invited to attend for a photo opportunity.

For more information please call
Sue Carrington
Media Adviser
Ph. 021 367 789

Last updated: Tuesday, November 24, 2009

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