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Scientists ready to save lives

8 November 2018

Cardiff Medicentre staff with defib machine
left to right: Danielle Grant (from tenant company, Diurnal Ltd); Dr Justin John; Liz Evans (Welsh Hearts); Sarah Charles (Diurnal Ltd).

A new defibrillator will help protect the lives of tenants, staff, visitors and the nearby public at Cardiff Medicentre.

The equipment is now in place at the Centre’s reception thanks to Welsh Hearts - a leading charity that places defibrillators in communities and delivers CPR and defibrillator training in Wales.

Medicentre staff, together with representatives of tenant companies at the life sciences business incubator, have been trained how to use the device. It gives a high-energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall of a person in cardiac arrest.

Cardiff Medicentre, owned by major shareholder Cardiff University and Cardiff & Vale University Health Board, is a key player in the life sciences in Wales and beyond.

Dr Justin John, Business Incubation Officer at Cardiff Medicentre, said, “Tenants had approached me to ask about getting a defibrillator onsite because they knew about the positive difference that this equipment could have on a passer-by, or someone inside the Medicentre, who was experiencing a life-threatening heart episode.

“We immediately teamed up with Welsh Hearts and are delighted to now have our own defibrillator and a well-trained set of people who will be able to respond in an emergency.”

Welsh Hearts has to date placed more than 1,400 defibrillators and provided CPR training to over 46,000 people within Wales. The charity’s vision is for a future where nobody in Wales dies prematurely from heart disease.

Liz Evans, Welsh Hearts Trainer said, “The survival rate of having an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is three to five per cent. This rises to 55 per cent when a defibrillator is nearby. We are so pleased that organisations like Cardiff Medicentre recognise the part they could play in saving lives, keeping their workforce and their local community safe.”

The sessions run by Welsh Hearts saw scientists, administrative staff, and practising clinicians from within the Cardiff Medicentre community learning about the practical realities of being the first to respond to a cardiac arrest.

I think that most of us at the Medicentre know at least something about CPR, but we also know that manual CPR can only go so far and that a defibrillator really can mean the difference between life and death. It’s great to now have this vital piece of equipment, and the knowledge and the confidence to use it.

Dr Justin John Cardiff Medicentre

The defibrillator is just one of a range of health-related investments being made by Cardiff Medicentre. Well-being sessions including yoga and mediation are soon to be on offer to tenants, and the organisation plans to launch a range of additional fitness initiatives over the next few months.

Dr John said, “We welcome all ideas that bring the Medicentre community together, and the installation of our defibrillator is probably the most significant of all. It has been so good to see tenants embracing the opportunity to acquire a new skill, particularly one as important as this.”

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