Heart Fund pushes defibrillators

The Cayman Heart Fund is launching an appeal to have a network of Automated External Defibrillator machines placed in easily accessible public places and offices across the Cayman Islands.

An AED is a portable machine that analyses the heart beat and can restart it, by administering a brief, controlled electrical shock.

The AED machine is user-friendly to operate and guides the user through the necessary stages to administer the correct treatment. These machines can also be used safely in treating children.

Dr. Sook Yin, medical director at the CHF, explained the need for AED machines across the islands and the importance of immediate assistance:

‘Nearly all incidents of sudden cardiac arrest occur in the work place or at home, which can be well away from hospitals and medical facilities which usually have the facilities available for reviving a victim,’ she said.

‘It is vitally important to administer treatment quickly because a person’s chance of survival drops 10 per cent for every minute that passes between cardiac arrest and getting the heart restarted.’

A plan has therefore been made to stock all public places with an AED machine.

The CHF is in the process of launching a drive to get as many entities as possible to house this life-saving equipment. CHF will be responsible for the purchase and installation of the AED machines throughout the Cayman Islands.

Though the machines are extremely user-friendly, the CHF would like the same model to be installed island-wide so that the public is familiar with them.

The CHF also recommends that members of the public receive CPR training. These courses currently offered by the Cayman Islands Red Cross.

Ms Yin says the cost of purchase is probably slightly higher than the cost of a machine which can be found on the Internet:

‘At CI$1,800, the AED machines that we will be supplying to organisations here in Cayman are slightly more expensive than some basic models available on the Internet; however the additional cost for the machine we have selected includes pads which can be used safely on children,’ she said.

‘In addition, we will use any remaining funds to supplement those non-profit organisations which really need a machine but might not be able to afford the entire cost, such as schools and residential homes for those in need. The AED machine we have selected is, in our opinion, the best type for Cayman and one which can be serviced uniformly.’

To purchase or donate one of these units, make a financial contribution to help offset the costs of the programme, contact Suzy Soto at 945 5117 or [email protected]; Dr. Sook Yin at [email protected]; Kevin Doyle at 526 7625; or Charmaine Robinson at 928 2366