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More defibrillators in Neath and Pontardawe thanks to community partnership

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A partnership between Tai Tarian and Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Public Protection, Cllr Leanne Jones, has paved the way for more defibrillators to be made available in Neath and Pontardawe.

With no defibrillators in her ward, Cllr Jones needed a place to house one within Neath’s Tonna community, so she approached Tai Tarian for ideas.

Together they identified the organisation’s Haven housing scheme, located in Tonna. Cysgodfa is well known locally, and a ‘defib’ here could be accessed continuously should members of the community ever need it.

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

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

A defibrillator being used in a training scenario (Image Pexels.com)

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 which installs heating systems for the housing provider.

The Chief Executive of Tai Tarian Linda Whittaker said: “I am pleased we have been able to work with Cllr Jones to support the Tonna community by hosting an AED at our Haven scheme. I am even more delighted that this conversation 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 the three devices are never used, it will be reassuring to everyone in these communities that they are there.”

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Cllr Leanne Jones added: “After being approached by a family in the village who actually needed access to a defibrillator on Christmas day, it led me to work with the Community and Tai Tarian to provide this life saving equipment in the village. I would like to express my thanks to the residents in Tonna along with Colin Laver and Tai Tarian who have made this possible.”

Henry Gilbert, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Heartbeat Trust UK said: “Sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting 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 isnot only caring for their residents but is potentially saving lives in the wider community.”

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.

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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? 

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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.


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