Charity launching defibrillator database

A new charity, called Lifeline, is developing a national database of automated external defibrillators which will be linked to the 911 emergency system.

Lifeline, which launched last week, is in talks with software providers in the US to ensure the existing software integrates effectively with Cayman’s Department of Public Safety Communications 911 systems, the charity stated in a press release.

It said that similar systems which exist in the US and Canada have helped save lives.

Lifeline also plans to fundraise and donate AEDs to locations across the Cayman Islands that most need them, and where there are currently gaps.

So far, the charity has identified the location of more than 100 AEDs across Cayman.

“This database of information will allow Cayman’s 911 operators to identify the closest AED to the scene of a cardiac arrest and, hopefully, save more lives,” the release stated.

Resident Christina Kish was inspired to found LifeLine after her son, daughter and husband were diagnosed with an electrical heart condition called Long QT Syndrome in 2018.

“Since then, her family has embarked on a journey of medical education, including being trained and facilitating the training of over 200 others in the use of CPR and AEDs, and the realities of life with a known electrical heart condition,” the press release noted.

“Currently only 1 in 10 people survive a sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting worldwide,” Kish said in the release. “With every minute that passes after a sudden cardiac arrest, the chances of surviving drop by 10%. We are working towards improving these statistics in the Cayman Islands by bringing both CPR trained individuals and an AED to the scene of the cardiac incident as soon as possible.”

Other directors of LifeLine include Glenna Black, who lost her husband Julian in May 2017 to a heart-related condition; Melissa Shaw, a respiratory therapist and CPR, AED and first-aid trainer; Emma Parker, a close friend of Christina Kish; and Julian Lewis, the director of DPSC, which is responsible for 911. The charity’s supervisor is retired Maples and Calder partner, Joannah Bodden Small.

“With Julian Lewis and the 911 team’s support and involvement, LifeLine is working on integrating the IT system through which the LifeLine database is made available to the 911 operators here in Cayman. This crucial part of the organisation cannot progress without the understanding and support of Julian and the 911 team and we are extremely grateful for their commitment to make this project a reality,” Kish said.

LifeLine was officially launched at the Cayman Islands Sailing Club on Thursday, 22 Oct., when the charity also celebrated the resuscitation of Charlie Adams, who was revived by an AED donated by LifeLine earlier this year. Adams and his wife were special guests at the event.

For more information about LifeLine, visit www.lifeline.ky.

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