A Home Defib

Defibs in Borth and Ynyslas

Borth and Ynyslas doesn’t have many publicly available defibrillators really. The nearest one to us is at the Visitor Centre in the dunes. There is now another in Ynyslas at the Cambrian Coast Caravan park. This one is available to the public if needed but is really for the caravan site. Both are a little too far to run to in an emergency.

There are also defibs in Borth:

  • One at the toilets opposite the station in Borth.
  • One at the Community Centre in Borth.
  • One at the Family Centre on the hill in Borth.

These are all between 2 and 3 miles from here. Again too far from us to be of use in an emergency. To be honest, the fact that Borth is such a long, thin village means that it is difficult to have decent coverage of such things without having quite a lot of them. We probably need more than the population (c.1400 according to the 2011 census) would suggest.

That said, the village of Kingswood where my parents live (also with a population of c.1400 in the 2011 census) currently has 9 public defibs. That’s twice as many as Borth has and in a much smaller geographic area too as Kingswood is a more compact village.

We will try to address this via the local council and see if we can get more installed.

A Defib at Home

We’ve recently had first hand experience of a heart attack and a two hour wait for an ambulance to arrive. (I bet it doesn’t take that long to get an ambulance to Kingswood either). So, we thought that maybe we should look into getting a defib installed here.

Once we started looking and had thought about it we couldn’t really not do it. The last thing we would want would be for something terrible to happen that made anyone think ‘we should have got that defib’. We therefore decided to buy one. Luckily, my Mum knows the guy who has been responsible for organising all of the defibs in her village. He was able to get them through his charity and a good price.

We ordered it and collected it at the weekend whilst there for a party. So, we now have a fully functioning emergency defibrillator here. Hopefully it will turn out to be the biggest waste of money ever. If it never gets used then that’s fine by me!

Emergency Defibrillator
Emergency Defibrillator

Defib Registration

I had hoped to register it through British Heart Foundation’s ‘The Circuit‘ initiative. This is a database of defibs that is shared with emergency services. So, should one be needed they can be accessed in an emergency whilst waiting for the ambulance to arrive. We would of course be happy for anyone in need to use ours in an emergency. However, it seems as though I need to tell the system what days and times it is available. That will be a little difficult to do. It will be here at our house 24/7 most of the time. But, if we happen to be away for a weekend or on a camping holiday in the camper then we’ll take it with us. We can’t therefore guarantee it’s whereabouts.

We’ll let the local council and the community wardens (of which we are members) know that we have it though. The more people who know it exists, the better just in case it is ever needed. I guess at some point in the future they will all come equipped with little gps tracking chips so that there’s whereabouts could be pinpointed at any time. That would make sense, especially as more and more people start to have their own.

Defib Use

The defibs are of course easy to use. They are publicly available for anyone to use should they be needed and all you have to do is open them up and they’ll talk you through the procedure. You can do training of course but this is mainly CPR training with a few minutes tagged on about how to use a Defib.

Anna and I do CPR and defib training fairly regularly through work, and I’ve been doing such things for years both through the University and when I worked as a beach lifeguard. I’m sure I’ve done it through various other organisations too. You don’t actually need training to use one though.

So, as a public service announcement, should you have the need to use one just go for it!

  • It will only deliver a shock if it detects an abnormal heart rhythm that it can actually attempt to correct.
  • If someone is in need of it and it works, they will almost certainly thank you for giving it a go.
  • If the defib can’t help then it won’t, unfortunately the outcome is unlikely to be good in this scenario but you will feel better for having tried.

Obviously getting some proper CPR training will not only give you more chance of success but will give you confidence too.

Defib & CPR Training

I think that CPR and the use of defibs should be a standard part of the school syllabus. Apparently it was supposed to be added to the syllabus in 2020, but I guess it’s become another casualty of Coronavirus for now.

I did hear something on the news the other day about an area in the states where there is an initiative to train everyone in CPR. The results were amazing. I don’t remember the exact figures and can’t find them now. However, from memory the rates of bystander CPR increased from something like 10% where there was no training initiative to 65% where there was. The training gave people the confidence to at least try. Better still, the survival rates went from something like 3% to over 20%. That’s a massive increase just by giving everyone a couple of hours of CPR training.

Of course, this did all highlight the fact that Morgan probably doesn’t know how to do it. So, I guess we’ll have a fun family weekend soon teaching him CPR and how to use a defib. Maybe not the way Morgan would choose to spend a Saturday afternoon but one that could well prove useful one day. It’s definitely a good skill to have.

1 Response

  1. Avatar forComment Author Mum x says:

    Actually I’m going to check if other grandchildren have ever been taught CPR

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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