Thanks to support from the British Heart Foundation and the South West Ambulance Trust, the Sidmouth-based Donkey Sanctuary now has a defibrillator machine available on site.
A defibrillator is a machine that can restart the heart following a cardiac arrest by giving an electric shock. Following a heart attack, defibrillation needs to be given as promptly as possible, with every minute that passes a victim’s chance of survival decreases by 14%.
The rural location of The Donkey Sanctuary means that it could take up to 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive on-site; a delay of this length could have tragic consequences in the case of a cardiac arrest. The cost of providing the equipment has largely been met by The British Heart Foundation to support their commitment to deploying defibrillators in strategic areas of need and rural settings like The Donkey Sanctuary.
Visitors Facilities Manager, Dean Hancock, said “This defibrillator is a potentially life-saving facility for our visitors. The equipment will be located at the Visitors’ Centre right at the heart of the Sanctuary enabling trained staff to provide an immediate first aid response to any person suffering from a heart attack.”
Nine members of staff have received training from the South West Ambulance Trust in how to use the defibrillator to ensure that there is always a qualified person on hand to use the machine if necessary.