Friday, 9 May 2014

Life-saving equipment to be installed in public buildings

North Ayrshire Council’s ruling SNP Cabinet is this week expected to agree total funding of £156,506 to purchase, install and train staff to use 116 defibrillators in schools and public buildings.

The machines are used in cases of cardiac arrest where the heart has stopped pumping blood. Defibrillators deliver an electric shock to the heart, potentially re-starting blood flow. Survival chances of those affected by cardiac arrest decrease by 10% for every minute without defibrillation.

The initiative to make available the potentially life-saving equipment was first suggested by Saltcoats & Stevenston Independent councillor Ronnie McNicol at February’s meeting of the Council. Now, following a detailed analysis by Council Chief Executive Elma Murray and senior officials, SNP councillors are expected to back a roll-out of defibrillators over the next year.

There will be an additional maintenance cost of £18,792 over four years, but Ms Murray has identified that all expenditure relating to defibrillators can be met from an underspend in the Council's General Fund budget for the financial year 2013/14.

A report for the SNP cabinet recommends that defibrillators are installed at Council offices, the district’s 5 Secondary Schools, 4 Special Schools, 50 Primary Schools, 17 libraries (plus 2 mobile units), 30 Community Centres and Eglinton Park in Kilwinning. In addition, North Ayrshire Leisure is to provide the machines at the area’s leisure centres, including Auchenharvie in Stevenston.

The Council also plans to work with the Scottish Ambulance Service to identify any parts of North Ayrshire where existing availability of the potentially vital medical equipment is limited.

The Cabinet report to be considered this week notes that the SNP Scottish Government has provided funding to install defibrillators in NHS dental practices by August of this year, and that supermarket chain ASDA is to provide the machines in all of its stores.

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