Life-saving machine's use signals confidence
Timaru's defibrillator project is starting to pay off after one of the machines was used when someone collapsed.
Surgeon and Timaru district councillor Steve Earnshaw, who instigated Timaru's automated external defibrillator (AED) project two years ago, said that although the incident was a false alarm, it was pleasing to know people had the confidence to use the machines.
He said the AED detected the patient was not having a cardiac arrest and alternative treatment was then provided.
"It's great that it's there and it gave those people confidence."
Mr Earnshaw said he was not aware of any other cases where people had reached for one of the 28 machines now located throughout Timaru and the wider community.
A major fundraising drive was launched for the project in 2011, eventually raising $100,000.
Some of that money went towards AED boxes located on the outside of some Timaru buildings. An AED is locked in each box. When a person requiring the machine rings 111, a St John staff member provides the lock's combination.
The caller is also told where the nearest AED is and an ambulance is dispatched.
Other AEDs are located within buildings open to the public during the day. The AEDs are valued at about $3000 each.
The RSA will soon get one of the machines, the final one in the project.
- © Fairfax NZ News