St Albans businessman has the Wright stuff to help fight sudden deaths

A LIFE-SAVING piece of equipment has been presented to a St Albans school thanks to the efforts of a local businessman.

David Wright, 24, raised the money for a defibrillator by running the Paris Marathon in April. He collected �3,085 for the charity SADS (Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome) UK which then used the cash to purchase the equipment and donate it to Marlborough School in Watling Street.

SADS UK is a charity concerned with heart disease in apparently healthy people. The conditions cause disturbance of the heart’s rhythm and as a result it can cause sudden death.

David, who works for KDW Associates, chose the charity after a client’s child died as a result of SADS. It was his first marathon and he completed it in four hours and 55 minutes.

Coronary heart disease is still one of the biggest causes for mortality in England and the National Service Framework (NSF) has set a target of reducing the mortality rate by 200,000 in 2010.

One of the main objectives outlined by the Department of Health (DOH) is to ensure clinical care is commenced at the earliest opportunity for patients suffering from chest pain or heart related problems.

The National Defibrillator Programme (NDP) was introduced across the United Kingdom in 2004 from funding made available by the National Lottery charitable funding and was supported by the British Heart Foundation and UK Ambulance Services.

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It aims to place automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in high footfall areas within the East of England region, such as airports, train stations and shopping centres.

Once an AED had been placed within a public site, the East of England Ambulance Service provides training in emergency life support and AED skills.

Currently the East of England Ambulance Service supports over 100 public sites across 6 counties which covers five million people.

On average, a person in cardiac arrest who receives CPR by an ambulance crew alone has a 2 per cent chance of survival.

A patient who receives “bystander” CPR prior to ambulance CPR rises to 4 per cent and with the addition of defibrillation within the first three to five minutes of collapse the survival rate increases to 85 per cent.

Apart from Marlborough School, there are also defibrillators located in St Albans Police Station, Victoria Street, St Albans Cathedral, Sumpter Yard and St Albans Civic Centre in St Peter’s Street.

The East of England Ambulance Service also has two Community First Responder Schemes covering St Albans, who respond to a selection of 999 calls on their behalf before the arrival of an ambulance.