NEAS community development officer Alex Mason

Mending broken hearts, a year on for the ambulance service

The North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) is celebrating the installation of more defibrillators, one year on from launching a community push for resuscitation.

This Valentine’s Day, NEAS is relaunching its community campaign to boost the number of community defibrillators installed by publishing the top areas in greater need.  

A total of 750 publicly accessible defibrillators are now registered with the Trust, 240 of which were installed last year.  During the year, the NEAS Trust Fund donated a total of £11,000 to support communities with installing 22 of the new defibrillators in target areas.

NEAS has now identified a select amount of new postcode areas which urgently requiring a lifesaving defibrillator, to increase the chance of survival for patients in cardiac arrest.  See below:

  • Northumberland: NE22 7, NE24 1, NE25 5
  • Newcastle & Gateshead: NE8 3, NE9 7, NE10 9, NE15 9, NE17 7
  • North Tyneside: NE28 0, NE29 6
  • South Tyneside: NE31 2, NE32 3, NE33 1, NE33 5, NE34 8, NE34 9, NE37 2
  • Sunderland: DH5 0, DH5 9, SR1 2, SR2 8, SR3 4, SR4 0, SR4 9, SR5 2, SR5 4, SR5 5
  • Durham, Darlington, Easington, Sedgefield: DH6 2, DH6 3, DL4 2, DL13 4, DL14 6, DL15 8, DL17 9, SR7 8, SR8 4, SR8 5, TS27 4
  • North Durham: DH9 7
  • Darlington: DL1 1
  • Hartlepool & Stockton: TS2 1, TS17 9, TS18 2, TS24 0, TS24 8, TS24 9, TS25 3, TS25 4
  • South Tees: TS1 5, TS3 0, TS3 7, TS3 7, TS3 8, TS4 2, TS4 3, TS6 6, TS6 8, TS6 9, TS10 4, TS10 5, TS13 4

More information at: /our-services/community-defibrillators/funding-opportunities.aspx

The areas in highest need have been identified based on location, the number of cardiac arrests and population demographics.

Approximately 60,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest out of hospital in England every year and of these, 28,000 patients will have resuscitation started or continued by the ambulance service. In England, survival rates for cardiac arrest patients is 8.6%. This is significantly lower than for populations in other developed places like Holland (21%), Seattle (20%) and Norway (25%).

In the North East from the 1 June 2018 to the 31 May 2019, there were 3,586 patients that suffered a cardiac arrest. Of those, 1,007 patients had bystander CPR performed on them and 608 patients arrived at hospital alive. Of those, 175 patients survived to be discharged from hospital.

NEAS community development officer Alex Mason said, “We have had an amazing response to the campaign and we have had lots of enquiries from people wanting to make their community safer, which we greatly appreciate.

“Over the last 12 months, there have been 22 defibrillators* installed in areas in the greatest need, which has made a significant impact across the region.

“When someone's heart stops beating, every second counts.   Early intervention by a bystander can substantially increase the chance of that person surviving, by calling an ambulance, starting CPR and using a public defibrillator.  

“If more people knew CPR and how to use a defibrillator, then the survival rate from cardiac arrest will increase from its current rate. You could be the difference for a patient whilst the ambulance is on its way.”

Subject to available funds, the NEAS Trust Fund will continue to consider applications from communities for contributions of up to £500 towards the cost of a defibrillator in areas of highest priority. Members of the public are urged to first find where your nearest machine is and then look to see if your post code area is eligible for funding. 

Douglas Taylor, NEAS Trust Fund chair, said: “Thanks to the kind donations made by people across the region to our charity, we have been able to support this initiative to boost the number of community defibrillators available. 

"We know these installations make a significant difference to a patient, but they also have a real impact on NEAS call handlers, dispatchers and ambulance crews, who, in the event of managing a cardiac arrest, want to give their patients the best possible care.”

A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest. This high energy shock is called defibrillation and is vitally important in saving someone’s life. For every minute it takes for the defibrillator to reach someone and deliver a shock, their chances of survival reduce by up to 10%.

The full details of the community defibrillator campaign can be found here: /our-services/community-defibrillators.aspx

2019-2020 defibrillator installations:

  • 1 in Northumberland:
    • Blyth Town Council
  • 5 in Durham, Darlington, Easington and Sedgefield:
    • 1 at Easington Village Parish Council
    • 2 in Hutton Henry
    • 1 in Dalton le Dale
    • 1 at Wheatley Hill Community Centre
  • 15 in Newcastle and Gateshead:
    • 1 at Carnegie Building
    • 1 at Blakelaw and North Fenham resident’s association
    • 13 through Newcastle Council Public Health
  • 1 in Hartlepool and Stockton:
    • The English Martyrs School & Sixth Form 

The full details of the locations of the defibrillators can be found by following this link: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1gi3Tv59AP3ItQIeQSYAkFU9D96HZ1BOt&ll=55.1369156805602%2C-1.7390934999999672&z=8

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