Heart defibrillators introduced to save lives in Stevenage
(13th March 2002)
Eight life-saving heart defibrillators were presented to Stevenage venues and organisations at a special ceremony on Friday, March 8, 2002.
The £18,800 funding for the equipment is being provided by the British Heart Foundation and Stevenage Borough Council as part of a pilot project by the Foundation.
Stevenage has the highest rate of heart disease in Hertfordshire, with more than 130 deaths a year from heart attacks (ischaemic heart disease) and 70 deaths a year through heart disease.
The Department of Health is now pushing for a national system of having defibrillators available in public places, such as railway stations and airports, but Stevenage was ahead of its time with this programme.
The scheme was the brainchild of Council Leader Brian Hall who had seen several colleagues and friends die from heart disease. He was also unfortunate enough to witness someone die from a heart attack while at a conference. While stuck on a train returning from the conference he thought the man might have been saved, had a defibrillator been to hand, and decided to launch the plan in Stevenage.
This round of defibrillators will go to:
Canterbury Way Health Centre
Stanmore Road Health Centre
Poplars Health Centre
HertDoc (out of hours GP service)
Stevenage Railway Station
Scheme organisers are also hoping to put two defibrillators into police patrol cars.
Only fully trained staff at each location will be allowed to use them.
Richard Henry, Executive Councillor for Public and Environmental Health, said: “The ten defibrillators we gave out last year have already made a vital difference to treatment times for heart attack sufferers, thus vastly improving their chances of survival. We are grateful to the British Heart Foundation for this unique opportunity to contribute to the health and well-being of our community.”
David Mann, regional director of the British Heart Foundation, said: “The British Heart Foundation is very happy to be helping Stevenage Borough Council by providing £9,400 towards the cost of eight defibrillators.”
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Related townsStevenage Old Town