Pub quiz: are you safer or less safe with a defibrillator to hand?

It’s a requirement of the practice’s Care Quality Commission (CQC) registration that a heart defibrillator should be available for immediate use in our high-risk setting. No defibrillator and we have to close the doors.

This is why, when a customer in a Spilsby pub was taken unwell last week, fell off their chair, but was reportedly conscious and talking, the suggestion of an East Midlands Ambulance Service call-handler that bar staff take our defibrillator to the pub was unwise and was declined.

A defibrillator might save a life where a person collapses with a shockable heart rhythm abnormality. It won’t help if they’ve collapsed due to a stroke, or having choked on a bar snack. We have been told that the presence of a defibrillator might even delay the response of the ambulance service. We can’t stop seeing patients for several hours because our essential equipment has been borrowed ‘just in case’.

In an emergency in the community, dial 999. If appropriate, the ambulance service call handler should direct you to one of several public defibrillators located around the town.

30 March 2019