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Portsmouth gains new defibrillators to help save lives

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Cllr Winnington  Jonathan Nel with defibrillator Landport Housing Office web
Jonathan Nel & Cllr Winnington with the new defibrillator at Landport Housing Office

Portsmouth City Council has worked with local businesses and organisations to add six more public access defibrillators to the city. If one of these is used alongside CPR when someone goes into sudden cardiac arrest it dramatically increases the chance of being able to save the person's life.

The six new public access defibrillators can be found outside:

  • The Civic Offices
  • Landport Housing Office
  • North End Library
  • Southsea Library
  • Albert Road toilets
  • Southsea Tennis Club

These buildings are in, or close to, areas of high footfall meaning that there is a higher likelihood of a sudden cardiac arrest happening there. The selected locations are also easy to locate meaning that the defibrillator can be accessed quickly as speed is a crucial factor in how effective a defibrillator can be.

Several organisations have supported getting these new defibrillators installed:

  • The Northcote Hotel purchased the one located at Albert Road toilets
  • Drift Bar purchased the one located at Southsea Library
  • Southsea Tennis Club joint funded the one at their venue
  • Liberty Group installed the defibrillators at the Civic Offices, Landport Housing Office, North End Library, Southsea Library and Albert Road toilets for free as part of their CSR activity.

Three additional public access defibrillators should also shortly be getting installed at Eastney Coffee Cup, PCMI in Cosham and the Royal British Legion in Fratton. Liberty will also be assisting in installing these for free.

Each year in England, emergency services are called to approximately 30,000 cases of sudden cardiac arrest. This occurs when the heart stops pumping blood effectively around the body. This will cause the person to lose consciousness, and without intervention can be fatal within minutes. If a defibrillator is used promptly and in conjunction with CPR, it is often possible to restore the heart's electrical rhythm and save a person's life.

Free life-saving skills training sessions, including use of a defibrillator, are going to be arranged in the coming months provided by the South Central Ambulance Service. These will be held at some of the venues which have had a defibrillator added, alongside other suitable spaces, and will be available to staff and users of those venues as well as wider Portsmouth residents.

Cllr Matthew Winnington, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at Portsmouth City Council said; "It's fantastic news that we have more public access defibrillators in the city and I'd like to thank the organisations who have played a part in enabling this.
Sudden cardiac arrest luckily isn’t a daily occurrence in the city but by increasing the availability of defibrillators, and people who are confident to use them, it will help to reduce deaths and complications should someone experience this. The Save a Life app from the South Central Ambulance Service shows the full provision of defibrillators in the city, including ones inside buildings, and provides a reassuring picture of how widespread they are."

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