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'This equipment and training could really be a life saver:' Village benefits from new defibrillator

PUBLISHED: 15:24 11 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:24 11 January 2019

Somerleyton residents practice CPR techniques and operating their new defibrillator. Picture: East Coast Community Healthcare

Somerleyton residents practice CPR techniques and operating their new defibrillator. Picture: East Coast Community Healthcare

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A new defibrillator has been installed in a rural village, thanks to help from a Lowestoft-based social enterprise.

And the residents of Somerleyton will now be better equipped to cope if someone in the village suffers a heart attack, following support from East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH).

Claire Diggins, a member of ECCH’s Out of Hospital team in Lowestoft, felt a defibrillator would help in the rural community and spoke to Somerleyton Parish Council about its potential benefits in the event of someone suffering a cardiac arrest.

As a result, the Somerleyton Award charity bought a defibrillator, which has been installed outside the village hall.

And after speaking to ECCH’s training team, they agreed to provide some training for villagers free of charge.

The villagers were taught how to operate the defibrillator and also to give CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) should someone stop breathing.

Ms Diggins has since set up a telephone support group of 19 volunteers who attended the training and who are willing to be contacted by anyone requiring help using the defibrillator in the future.

She said: “Every minute without CPR or defibrillation reduces a person’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by around 10 per cent so, in a rural location like Somerleyton, this equipment and training could really be a life saver.

“It’s very reassuring for people to know that they have this life-saving piece of equipment close by should they ever need it – and it also means the people who attended our training now have the confidence to respond to a cardiac arrest elsewhere.”

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