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App will help save lives of heart attack sufferers
A MOBILE phone app has been launched to show where the nearest life-saving defibrillator can be found.
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is the first ambulance trust in the country to launch such an app.
Defibrillators are located at public points around the county and 999 callers are given a code to access them.
A defibrillator is used to give the heart a controlled electrical shock during cardiac arrest.
For every minute that passes without defibrillation, a person’s chances of survival decrease by about 10 per cent.
Users of the free app – also available for tablet devices – tap in where they are to find out the location of the nearest device. The app also gives advice on what to do when someone suffers cardiac arrest and a button to transfer the user to 999.
Long Wittenham installed a defibrillator in its former BT phone box last year. It was in memory of villager Guy Evans, 17, who died after a motorbike accident in 2008 when his heart stopped.
Mum Beth Chesney-Evans welcomed the app, saying: “I think it’s excellent news as one of the things we have been doing since we lost Guy is encouraging local communities to install their own defibrillators.
“They can be put in places like redundant telephone boxes or village hall walls so they are available to help people in the community when someone collapses with a heart attack. Anything that can help, particularly the younger people who have iPhones andknow where these things are and be able to use them, is good.”
Didcot GP Dr Katie Barber was among East and West Hanney villagers who raised £2,000 for a device to be installed outside East Hanney Village Hall.
She said: “There’s a fair amount of them around, but people have no idea where they are, and so it’s most important.”
Trust spokesman Gill Hodgetts said: “There are so many defibrillators around and now the public can tell us where their nearest one is. It’s about getting communities involved really, so we can get a picture of where all the defibrillators in Oxfordshire are located.”
The app, for Android and Apple, is expected to be available from November 4.