NWAS Team up with Bolton ICD Support Group to place defibrillators

The Bolton ICD (Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator) Support Group was set up in 2006 by Tracey Garde, Matron, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, and a small group of patients and carers.  The group aims to support patients and their families when an ICD is implanted. AnICD is a small device, similar to a pacemaker which is inserted under the skin. It monitors the heart rhythm and will deliver an electric shock to the heart if required.

These devices are implanted in patients who have suffered and survived a cardiac arrest or who at high risk of suffering a cardiac arrest due to an irregularity of the heart rhythm. The
group members were also very keen to raise funds to purchase Automated External
Defibrillators (AEDs) to improve the survival rate in patients who suffer cardiac arrest in the local community.  Following the death of 12 year old Oliver King in Liverpool earlier this year and the cardiac arrest of Bolton Wanderers player Fabrice Muamba, the group particularly wanted to focus on schools and sports clubs initially.

Bolton ICD Support Group have teamed up with NWAS (North West Ambulance Service) and Bolton Wanderers Community Trust in an initiative to place defibrillators where there could be a higher risk of a cardiac arrest occurring.  This includes sports facilities, shopping centres, transport links and others where there is a high volume of visitors.



The placement of these defibrillators is already saving lives across the North West and just as importantly is raising awareness on CPR and why it is so important to recognise a cardiac arrest and start providing help. The first two AEDs purchased by Bolton ICD Support Group were presented to Bolton Rugby Club in December and Harper Green School in January.

Staff from these areas were keen to be trained in providing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) together with using the AED.  Steve Nicholls, Community Resuscitation Development Officer said, “I am really pleased that Bolton ICD Support Group and NWAS have worked together in placing this AED.  I hope this step leads to other primary schools, secondary schools and sports clubs identifying the need to have these pieces of equipment and staff trained and comfortable to use them if there ever was a cardiac arrest.

“When someone goes into cardiac arrest – it is vital to recognise the emergency, start CPR but also to get the AED and apply the pads.  The machines are very simple to use and you cannot do any further harm to the patient.  The machines only allow you to deliver a shock
if a patient is in a specific rhythm and will not provide a shock unnecessarily.  The AED delivers an electric pulse through the chest, in an attempt to restore a normal heart rhythm.

“A patient’s chance of survival decreases 10% for every minute that passes without defibrillation; with the application of an AED within five minutes of collapse the best possible chance of survival is maintained”.

The Chain of Survival initiative focuses on four key immediate actions, which when delivered in sequence will give the patient a greater chance of survival.  These are:  early access – call 999, early CPR, early defibrillation and early advanced care.   Immediate access to a defibrillator and a trained user on site means that three of these lifesaving actions can be administered, possibly before the ambulance has even arrived.

If any school or sports club is interested in receiving an AED and CPR training please contact Tracey Garde onTracey.garde@boltonft.nhs.uk or alternatively contact steven.nicholls@nwas.nhs.uk


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