More defibrillators in Neath Port Talbot thanks to community partnership

Wed 24 Mar 2021

Defibrillator launch

A partnership between Tai Tarian and local communities has paved the way for more defibrillators to be made available in Neath and Pontardawe.

After concerned residents of Tonna realised there were no defibrillators in their village, they approached Tai Tarian for help.

Together, they identified the organisation’s Haven housing scheme in the village as a suitable location to place one.

Cysgodfa is well known locally, and here a ‘defib’ could be accessed continuously should members of the community ever need it.

This then led to Tai Tarian considering installing AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) at other sites around Neath Port Talbot so made contact with Heartbeat Trust UK for advice.

As a result, a further two devices have been installed at Haven schemes at Tŷ Llansawel, Briton Ferry and Llys Nant Fer, Gwaun Cae Gurwen.

All have been purchased thanks to Tai Tarian’s community benefits programme, which encourages companies who work with the organisation to give something back to the local community.

The AEDs have been funded by Colin Laver Heating who install heating systems for the housing provider.

Chief Executive of Tai Tarian Linda Whittaker said:
“I am pleased that we have been able to work with the Tonna community by hosting an AED at our Haven scheme. I am even more delighted that this initiative has led to us installing a further two AEDs in Briton Ferry and Gwaun Cae Gurwen.

“Sudden cardiac arrest can affect people of any age and whilst I hope that the three devices are never used, it will be reassuring to everyone in these communities that they are there.”

Henry Gilbert, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Heartbeat Trust UK said:
"Sudden cardiac arrest outside of hospital is one of the top causes of death in the world.  In Neath Port Talbot it is estimated that approximately 140 people might suffer a cardiac arrest each year and unfortunately less than 10% will survive.

However, with timely intervention of CPR and defibrillation the survival rate can increase up to 75%.  By providing 24-hour publicly accessible defibrillators Tai Tarian are not only caring for their residents but are potentially saving lives in the wider community."

Additional information:
Details of where defibrillators are located in Wales can be found here -NHS 111 Wales - Local Services Search

What is a defibrillator?
When a person goes into cardiac arrest, their heart stops beating normally as the electrical activity in their heart becomes uncoordinated. A defibrillator sends out an electrical shock, to stop the electricity with the aim to get it to restart in a normal rhythm.

What should I do if I see someone who is unconscious and not breathing normally?
You must first call 999 to arrange for help. As well as guiding you through CPR, the call operator will be able to advise you if there is a defibrillator nearby. If there is, they will ask you to stay with the patient and continue CPR but ask someone around you to find the defibrillator.

Can anyone use one?
Yes. Defibrillators give the person using them clear audio instructions. You cannot hurt someone with a defibrillator because it won’t work unless a person is in cardiac arrest.

I’ve seen some defibrillators are locked inside a cabinet. How would I know how to get access to it in an emergency?
The 999 call handler will give you the code to unlock it.

Can it really make a difference to a person in cardiac arrest?
Definitely! Studies have shown that a shock given within three to five minutes can produce survival rates between 50 and 70 per cent.  The immediate delivery of CPR combined with early use of a defibrillator gives a person in cardiac arrest the best chance of surviving.