A large-scale introduction of the most high-tech emergency equipment is taking place across the Trust.

Defibrillators are an essential part of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust’s life-saving capability.

More than 70 defibrillators have been replaced with the most modern versions in Torbay Hospital and the patient transport fleet.  As part of this mass roll-out, hundreds of staff have also been trained in their use.

The next phase will see the user-friendly machines introduced to community care sites.

The defibrillators are critical to saving the lives of people who suffer sudden heart attacks by recognising abnormal rhythms using an electrical shock, if needed, to reset the heart so it beats to a normal rhythm. 

Megan Clemence, Trust Resuscitation Lead, said: “The Trust has made a major contribution to the update of emergency defibrillators across the acute hospital and patient transport. This maintains our compliance with national standards.

“We have installed the best possible high-tech equipment in the right places to give anyone who has a sudden cardiac arrest the best chance of having emergency life-saving treatment as quickly as possible.”

National guidelines say defibrillation (restarting the heart) should be done within three minutes of someone collapsing with a cardiac arrest in order to increase chances of survival, reduce the chances of long-term brain damage by reducing the time the brain is starved of oxygen and overall, improve outcomes for patients.

She said this emergency provision is combined with the training of hundreds of staff who will be able to use new equipment: “The new defibrillators are intuitive to use and have voice prompts to aid the user in pressurised incidents, thereby reducing user error.  They have improved functions covering speed and depth of compressions following clinical guidelines which promotes good patient recovery outcomes.”

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