We need a defibrillator in our area!

Norwich as a city is really lacking public 24-hour access defibrillators. I am currently trying to piece together all the information I need to get us one for Pockthorpe, NR3.

What is a defibrillator?

“A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest. This high energy shock is called defibrillation, and it’s an essential part in trying to save the life of someone who’s in cardiac arrest. A defibrillator may also be referred to as a defib, an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) or a PAD (Public Access Defibrillator).” Taken from The British Heart Foundation’s website.

How much do defibrillators cost?

The G5 Cardiac Science Powerheart defibrillator and locked cabinet is £1400 (quoted Sep 2021). Jayne Biggs from Heart 2 heart also gets a premium insulated carry case, first aid bag and a spare set of pads, which is no extra. The defibrillator is guaranteed for 8 years and the cabinet for 10 years. This is what Jayne pays, as she is 100% non-profitable and does this all voluntary, so there is no markup. The defib is endorsed by the East of England ambulance service and so is Jayne. The cabinet runs off 13amp, so it is hard-wired in and isolated off. So it can go into a socket on the other side of the wall or a plug. Do not use an outside socket, as it can be turned off. You don’t have to be a certified electrician to install it, but Jayne has installed over 250 and never paid for one, an electrician will always do it for free, when it’s for the local community. The cabinet kicks in a trickle of heat when the weather goes below 8 degrees, just to keep the defib at a constant temperature. Over 10 years it costs approximately £100 to run.

If the defib is used it’s £35 for replacement pads.

What upkeep is needed?

Every month the cabinet needs a clean and silicone spray for the keypad. This needs to be reported as completed to The Circuit to keep it on the 999 list.

Does it need to be registered somewhere?

Yes, definitely! The Circuit keeps an up to date list of all the defibs, so when there is an emergency the staff on the 999 call know where to direct people and give them the PIN code to open the cabinet.

What is Heart 2 heart?

Heart 2 heart Norfolk is a charity run by Jayne Biggs in Norfolk. To date, they have fitted over 260 defibrillators all over Norwich, Norfolk for the local community. Jayne gives schools and local community groups information on how to obtain defibs and CPR/ defib training. Founded in 2016. Charity number: 1174503.

Heart to Heart Norfolk is a charity shop in Gorleston-On-Sea raising money for defibs for the community. Sadly this shop closed in 2022.

Where is my nearest defib? Is there a universal defibrillator map?

British Heart Foundation has created The Circuit to provide a defib map. As per comments on this blog post, it’s gone live Christmas 2021. Here is the link to find your closest defib.

There are some other maps but I believe the circuit is the most kept up to date.

Other maps:

Heartsafe

On this map, at the moment the nearest 24-hour access defib is the train station for Pockthorpe, NR3. I know we have several inside buildings, but they aren’t registered with The Circuit or 24/7 access.

Defib map

This map only shows one defib for Norwich, so obviously not kept up to date.

The Circuit

Created in 2018 to collate all the defibs into one location for 999 staff. I can’t actually find a map on their website. It currently doesn’t look like it’s available for the public. This is a massive oversight in my opinion. From bits I have read on the Internet this is the map everyone should be using.

The National Defib database

Community set up map of defibrillators.

https://www.nddb.uk/

What to do next?

  1. We need to arrange a fundraiser for the £1400
  2. Pay Heart 2 heart or East Anglia Ambulance’s invoice. They will deliver it to us.
  3. Arrange for an electrican to fit the defib and mount on the outside wall.
  4. Register the defibrillator on The Circuit, so 999 staff can give the location and PIN in an emergency.
  5. Nominate a volunteer to service the defib monthly and fill in the ciruit mainstance form. This is very important to keep it on the 999 list. It just involves a clean and silione spray for the keypad.

Please comment on this blog post with any information you have. It will be much appreciated!

1 thought on “We need a defibrillator in our area!”

  1. Great to see communities getting together to make more life saving defibs available! Also thank you for highlighting the importance of registering the defib on the Circuit so that the East of England Ambulance Service knows where it is and that its “emergency ready”.
    The British Heart Foundation has funded and developed the Circuit for the NHS to improve on the 14 separate and less capable systems the UK’s ambulance services previously used. The last few ambulance services are going live over the next six months.
    There will be publicly accessible defib mapping provided as a part of this programme and its in final testing at the moment. It should be live before Christmas but we can help you with the information you need now and I’ve emailed the author of this blog so we can talk.
    Simon at the BHF

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