North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has installed an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) at Tyldesley Rugby Union Club as part of the Chain of Survival initiative to improve the chance of survival of a cardiac arrest patient.

The installation of the AED at the club will serve not only the Rugby Union players but also football teams using the facilities and social events. Steve Nicholls, Community Resuscitation Development Officer for Greater Manchester, led a training course for the staff, volunteers and members of the Club to use the machines with further training planned in the future.

When a person is suffering a cardiac arrest, they lose consciousness immediately and there are no signs of life.  The AED delivers an electric pulse through the chest, in an attempt to restore normal heart rhythm.  A patient’s chance of survival decreases 10% every minute that passes without defibrillation; with the application of an AED within 5 minutes of collapse the best possible chance of survival is maintained.

The Chain of Survival initiative focuses on four key immediate actions, which when delivered in sequence will give the patient a greater chance of survival; these are:  early access – call 999, early CPR, early defibrillation and early advanced care.  The access to a defibrillator and a trained user, on site means that three of these life saving actions can be administered, possibly before the ambulance has even arrived.

Trained staff and machines on-site ensure a safer environment for the local and wider community.  It is essential that the location of these machines is made public knowledge; this could, quite literally, be the difference between life and death.