Acorns Children’s Hospice installs lifesaving defibrillators

Wednesday 28th October 2015 – 12.30pm – Jamie Arrowsmith.

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A local charity has taken delivery of lifesaving machines that can restart a person’s heart following a cardiac arrest.

Acorns Children’s Hospice is to house three Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) at its three sites; Acorns in Birmingham, Selly Oak, Acorns for the Three Counties in Worcester and Acorns for the Black Country in Walsall. The AEDs will be used in the emergency resuscitation of adults experiencing a cardiac arrest.

Two of the machines have been donated by support services and construction company Carillion, the other by West Midlands Ambulance Service who will also be offering free training in how to use them to Acorns’ staff and volunteers.

There are an estimated 60,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year. The chance of a person surviving a cardiac arrest falls by 10 per cent for every minute that passes without an AED being used.

Survival rates can be as high as 75 per cent when patients are treated with the right care and a defibrillator in time.

WMAS Community Response Manager Andy Jeynes said: “It was a fantastic co-incidence that Carillion contacted me to ask whether we had a use for two defibrillators as it came just a few days after Ben McFadzean, an Acorns volunteer, had asked about the possibility of getting some defibs at their three sites.

“The quicker you start CPR and shock a patient in cardiac arrest with a defibrillator, the better the chance they have of surviving.”

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Chris Reed, Head of Care at Acorns in Birmingham, said: “We have lots of people come to Acorns, either visiting children, coming to our Garden Fete or Open Garden events, as well as our many members of staff and volunteers.

“It is only sensible that we have these devices so that in the event of a person having a cardiac arrest, resuscitation can be assisted with an AED. The more defibs there are available and used in the community, the better the chances of survival for people having a cardiac arrest.”

Rob Yates, Senior Quantity Surveyor for Carillion, said: “Carillion has a strong focus on involvement in the local community.

“Together with colleagues Mike Tourt and Dan Albanese, I work on projects in Birmingham and when we were given the defibrillators in recognition of a health promotion campaign we organised; donating them to a good cause local to our current project was our top priority.

“Acorns provide such an invaluable service to terminally ill and life limited children and their families, and we are delighted that all three Acorn hospices will now have a lifesaving defibrillator on site.”

Ben McFadzean, who is also a Crew Manager at Birmingham Airport Fire and Rescue, said: “I started volunteering with Acorns this year and after attending a first aid course with them I was aware that they did not have AEDs at their sites.

“As part of my role at Birmingham Airport I have a great working relationship with Andy (Jeynes) and as such suggested it to him that Acorns may be an ideal place to locate an AED. It just happened that Carillion came to Andy shortly after this and all the pieces fell into place. What a fantastic result.”

Acorns provides a network of specialist palliative nursing care and support to babies, children and youngsters aged up to 18 who have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and associated complex needs.

Ends.

Notes to Editors:

Top picture: (l-r) Rob Yates (Carillion), Charlotte Anson (Acorns) and Andy Jeynes (West Midlands Ambulance Service).

Bottom picture: (l-r) Paul Reynolds (Carillion), Wendy Mitchell (Carillion), Rob Yates (Carillion), Dan Albanese (Carillion), Michael Tourt (Carillion), Charlotte Anson (Acorns), Neil Boon (Carillion), Andy Jeynes (West Midlands Ambulance Service), Ben McFadzean (Acorns & Birmingham Airport Fire and Rescue) and Louise Arnold (Acorns).

If used, please credit the images to West Midlands Ambulance Service.

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