Fifteen midlanders walked out of hospital after their heart stopped

THERE has been much coverage over the weekend of professional footballer Fabrice Muamba being discharged from hospital. Fabrice left hospital a month after he collapsed and died while playing a football match in England.

THERE has been much coverage over the weekend of professional footballer Fabrice Muamba being discharged from hospital. Fabrice left hospital a month after he collapsed and died while playing a football match in England.

While not wanting to take away from the wonderful story, it should be known that during the past three years here in the Midlands, fifteen people whose heart had stopped, later walked out of hospital. In many of these cases their survival was due to the swift action of lay people who had learned CPR and how to use a defibrillator.

It is hoped that a new defibrillator register being set up in the midlands will further increase this survival rate.

The idea is that details of all defibrillators would be registered with the ambulance control centre so that if an emergency call which requires a defibrillator comes in, the caller can be advised of the location of the life-saving equipment.

It is internationally recognised that the best chance of survival of cardiac arrest is early activation of emergency services, early CPR and early use of a defibrillator.

However, at present the location of many defibrillators is not known. This means that someone could collapse close to a defibrillator, but because no-one knows it’s location, the machine does not reach the patient.

Any business, club or community who has a defibrillator, or anyone who knows of the location of one, can register it by logging on to the pre-hospital emergency council web site www.phecc.ie or contact 045 882087. Doing so might save a life.