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Posted December 6, 2011 at 11:33AM
Did anyone catch the piece on radio 2's jeremy vine show yesterday (monday) on defibrillators? I was totally absorbed by it (to the extent that I pulled into a customers yard but didnt get out to book in until it finished). To say that it was a revelation was an understatement. I always though that they were big clumsy things on trolleys to be found in hospitals, that needed to be kept plugged into the mains when not in use and had paddles the size of small steam irons. I've seen some defibs (not many) in a couple of firms I've been to and always thought they were there more for show than anything else (although I still have my lingering doubts about some of the places given the amount of dust on the cases. I cant help but wonder if they still work, if anyone has checked the batteries this year.).
My own first aid training was quite a while back and although I remember it well and have had to put it to use on a number of occasions there was nothing at all about defibs. To be honest I would never have dreamed of trying to use one either even if it was appropriate to do so, partly through fear of incorrect use and destabilising a perfectly normal heart, and sadly in this day and age either being sued by the person I was trying to help or being arrested for assault!
You can imagine my surprise to learn that using them is as nearly idiot proof as its possible to make. Diagrams of where to attatch the electrodes - I had assumed you placed them on the chest. Comes from watching too many medical dramas on tv. Then all you do is turn it on and the machine itself performs a diagnosis on the heart and only admisters a shock when appropriate, so you cant get it wrong.
If anyone has the opportunity to, I would strongly recommend listening to it via iplayer.
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Posted December 6, 2011 at 11:59PM
We often hear about the NHS, but seldom hear about the volunteers who carry out regular duties for the NHS, including emergency service requests.
In three of the villages near to where I live, some of the community have undertaken training as first call out responders, who attend urgent calls before the paramedics arrive. The defibrillator devices they have, plus other items, were purchased via the local community fund raising efforts.
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Posted December 7, 2011 at 12:44AM
I always laugh when watching a "medical drama" on TV & the Doc removes the patients shirt & then produces the defib paddles which they rub together first,especially on older programs such as Angels or early Casualty episodes(my Mother was a Nurse for most of her working life & we were subjected to many of these medical dramas)although not entirely older dramas as a recent episode of C.S.I had the paddles being rubbed together.On modern debibs I would imagine that the paddles contacting each other wouldn't be too serious,but early machines where the Dr utters "charging!" before rubbing them together would probably destroy the machine.
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Posted December 7, 2011 at 11:50AM
The rubbing together of the paddles was to spread the 'Gel' over them before the days of the 'salmons' gel patches which they use today.
As there would be no electricity going to the paddles at the time, there would be no real danger. They had to press the switches on both paddles to cause the discharge.
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Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:59PM
Our council bought one to save lives, and installed it in the Town Hall. At the time, Accident & Emergency was just over the road from the Town Hall, but that was before they closed the hospital. When they invested in CCTV to cut crime, the cameras were trained on the Town Hall car park.
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