Heartfelt generosity

Wednesday 10 October 2007

A local charity has made a life-saving donation to the University of St Andrews.

A defibrillator has been donated by Operation Heart Start (St Andrews and East Neuk of Fife). The device will be based in close proximity to some of the University’s busiest public venues and some staff have already been trained to increase casualties’ chances of survival.

Helen Mackie (Assistant Director, Estates), Stewart Davidson (Security Manager) and Gillian Davidson (Chairman, Operation Heart Start) with Estates colleagues

The charity supplies emergency life support training and life-saving equipment to the local community.  The University defibrillator has been placed in the Porter’s Lodge, close to Younger Hall, St Salvator’s Chapel and Lower and Upper College Halls, where a number of public events take place.  Various members of Estates department, and North Street staff, have been trained in it use.

Janet Mackinnon, the University’s Occupational Health Adviser said, “Naturally, we hope we will never have to use it but it’s an excellent resource for the University and an extremely generous donation which could, after all, save lives”.

Her sentiments were echoed by the local charity’s Chairman Gillian Duncan – “Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the UK but many victims can survive if bystanders take immediate action. By using a First Responder Defibrillator, trained individuals can greatly increase the victim’s chances of survival, as a shock can be delivered much quicker than an Ambulance can arrive”.

The charity also offers a two-hour Emergency Life Support course.

Gillian said, “It is vital if we are to try to provide the best possible chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest and other life threatening situations that members of the community are able to perform basic life saving techniques. One two-hour session is all it takes, the sessions are fun and informative and could mean the difference between life or death for a relative or friend”.

Anyone wishing to attend a session or receive further information can phone Ann Peat, Operation Heart Start, St Andrews Health Centre on 01334 477117.


Issued by University of St Andrews Press Office

For more information, contact Claire Grainger, Press Officer – 01334 462530 or email [email protected]

Ref: defib101007

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