Defibrillator on mountain pass near Llangollen could help save lives

Published date: 24 December 2013 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A BEAUTY spot has taken delivery of a life-saving defibrillator.

The Horseshoe Pass near Llangollen, which is popular with motorcyclists, now boasts an automated external defibrillator (AED).

There are about 8,000 sudden cardiac arrests annually in Wales, when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body. The person may suffer permanent damage to the brain and other organs unless someone starts cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or delivers an electric shock through the chest wall, using a defibrillator.

Staff at the Ponderosa Cafe on the pass have been given training on the device.

Claire Hurford, who gave the training on behalf of the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “Once someone suffers a cardiac arrest, every minute counts. They need immediate CPR from those around them, who will often be family members or passers-by. As well as good-quality CPR the patient needs to be treated with a defibrillator.

“An ambulance will obviously try and reach a seriously ill or injured patient as quickly as possible, but this defibrillator can be used in the minutes it takes for an ambulance to arrive. 

“The Horseshoe Pass is popular 365-days-a-year, and not just with bikers but with walkers and tourists too. Having a defibrillator nearby means people’s chances of surviving a cardiac arrest are vastly improved.”

Also attending was North Wales Police Chief Supt Jeremy Vaughan, who promoted the force’s Bikesafe scheme, which aims to drive down the number of bikers being hurt on the roads.

Mr Vaughan said: “North Wales Police and Bikesafe are proud to support the Welsh Ambulance Service with the instalment of the new defibrillator at the Ponderosa Cafe, which is a very popular spot with bikers.

“Bikesafe is a police-led motorcycle project run by most forces in the UK, with the main aim being to reduce the number of bikers being hurt on the roads. FBoS courses (First Bike on Scene) are also provided which allows riders to receive training in motorcycle-related first aid.

“The installation of the defibrillator at this popular spot now also means Bikesafe trained volunteers will have an additional tool to provide life-saving treatment.”

The defibrillator on the Horseshoe Pass follows a scheme to install public access defibrillators in churches across Wales, making them available for remote communities across Wales.

They are also found in train stations, museums and shopping centres, and even down the Big Pit mining museum and on the summit of Snowdon.

The Welsh Ambulance Service works with organisations to provide equipment and training on the use of defibrillators under the scheme.

So far it has trained more than 5,000 volunteers in the use of AED.

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