When a patient died on Jack’s watch due to a lack of equipment, he resolved to never let it happen again
FIRST-AIDER’S DRIVE TO BUY DEFIBRILLATOR FOR HIS TEAM
A FIRST aid volunteer turned to online fund-raising to buy a defibrillator for himself and his colleagues after they were unable to treat a patient who later died.
Jack Hood-Deeks is a member of St John Ambulance in the Market Harborough area and his training allows him to respond to emergency 999 cardiac arrest calls.
He said: “Despite having trauma kits, burn kits, medicines, nebulisers, and even simply water and blankets, I do not carry a defibrillator.”
Jack said a recent shift demonstrated just how critical the equipment can be after a patient died despite his efforts and those of an ambulance crew who turned up a few minutes later.
Jack, 21, is now raising money to buy an automated external defibrillator (AED) for the group.
The £995 target had just been surpassed yesterday morning, as the fund reached £1,005, but donations are still welcome to help with future running costs of te equipment.
Having access to the equipment in the first few moments of an emergency saves lives, Jack said.
Explaining the recent incident, Jack said: “As I do not carry an AED, I could only perform CPR in that time-frame and the patient unfortunately did not survive.
“Multiple ambulance crews attempted resuscitation for almost an hour. It is those first few minutes that are the most important.”
Jack is permitted to respond to emergency cardiac arrest calls so he can perform CPR while ambulance crews are on their way.
He said: “CPR, however, can only go so far and AED greatly increases their chance of survival.
“On the recent call, the nearest ambulance was 14 minutes away it’s recommended both CPR is
started, and an AED used within three to four minutes of cardiac arrest.
“The time frame between my arrival and the ambulance’s is critical and will ultimately determine the patient’s outcome.
“We don’t yet have a defibrillator, which is a critical piece of life-saving equipment for a patient in cardiac arrest. This is why I’ve started this fund-raiser to purchase one.
“I have seen first-hand how important an AED is.
“You can do so much training with them, but it isn’t until you see them actually used on a patient that the real effect it can have in improving the chances of a patient’s survival becomes apparent.
According to Jack, about 10 per cent of people survive an out-ofhospital cardiac arrest.
He added: “Performing effective CPR and the prompt use of a defibrillator can increase survival rates to up to 40 per cent.
“I have treated unresponsive patients on many occasions, which are significantly more likely to go into cardiac arrest than a responsive patient.”
The JustGiving page, details of which are at the foot of this article, remains open.
He said: “An automated external defibrillator is a vital piece of equipment, but also the single most expensive for basic life support.
“Not only is the unit alone £1,000 (depending on the model), but each time it is used, the pads need replacing (which costs around £50 to £100 each time) and the battery needs replacing every few years too, which costs around £100 to £300.
“It is simply cost that has prevented us from carrying one.”