Last Saturday there were numerous national press and television reports about the unveiling of Dublin's first defibrillator for telephone booths in Stoneybatter. The event was attended by the Dublin Fire Brigade, the Lord Mayor's Office, local councils and representatives from the Irish Heart Foundation.
Before we go any further, to make it 100% clear what exactly a defibrillator is and how important it is:
A defibrillator, also known as a Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is A wearable device that restores a normal heartbeat by sending an electrical pulse or shock to the heart. Defibrillators are vital in helping the heart beat again when the heart suddenly stops.
Different types of defibrillators work in different ways. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) found in many public spaces are designed to save the lives of people in sudden cardiac arrest. Even untrained viewers can use these devices in an emergency.
At the kick-off event in Stoneybatter, Brigid Sinnott, Resuscitation Manager at the Irish Heart Foundation, highlighted the importance of having immediate access to a defibrillator when she stated, “When a person goes into cardiac arrest, their chance of survival decreases by 10% for every minute without it CPR and defibrillation pass. "
The capital city of Dublin has been hit hard by other cities, some of which were founded back in 2016, for installing a defibrillator in a phone booth:
– Killarney launched the first defibrillator in a phone booth as part of the Heart of Ireland project in November 2016. If you look at the website you will find that the idea takes into account the role of the phone booth in our communities on the home page.
Interestingly, the Heart Of Killarney team has created a template for the project to be made available to other cities who wish to follow suit.
– The Carrigaline Community First Responders Group launched their defibrillator in a phone booth in November 2017. This was the first of four planned.
– In Westport, it was the joint effort of the Westport Order of Malta, Westport Tidy Towns, Westport Men’s Shed and Mayo County Council.
This project is just part of a larger project, the nationwide Heart of Ireland project, which used over 20 such structures for AEDs.
It's great to see such a landmark being shut down and brought back to life.
However, these great initiatives do not fix or fix the main problems that are upstream. These problems are part of the need for such a network of AEDs. One of those topics that we have already written about is cardiovascular disease, or CVD.
One of the standout comments in this article on CVD was from Professor Bill McEvoy. He has seen a deterioration in our standards since returning from work in the United States over a decade. He continues: “After being away from Ireland for a few years, I noticed how many gas station fast food outlets had sprung up since I left. In many ways, these are a symbol of the challenges we face in improving CVD health and reducing risk. "
The irony of the situation is that you are selling "outlets" that make net contributions to CVD and that those same outlets are simultaneously "hungry" for media coverage to help install an AED in their local community.
At the rate at which Ireland is producing chronically ill and obese children and adults, there will be both demand and need for more defibrillators in phone booth projects.
If you've read this blog post and want some positive impact, check out the Community CPR Program and find out what a first responder does. There is a community CPR program or first responder group affiliated with most, if not all, defibrillators in phone booth installations.