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NEW HEART DEFIBRILLATORS FOR GLASGOW AMBULANCES

March 25, 2004 3:19 PM

State-of-the-art defibrillators, which can save the lives of people who've had heart attacks, will be fitted to all frontline ambulances in Greater Glasgow.

As part of a £5.1million Scotland-wide funding package from the Scottish Executive, the city's ambulances are ditching older machinery and being fitted with new high-tech heart defibrillators that allow emergency crews to deliver faster and better treatment to heart attack patients.

 

Raymond Hepburn, Head of Accident and Emergency Services for the Scottish Ambulance Service (West Central Division), welcomed the funding.

He said: "Providing our staff with the latest heart technology at their fingertips when dealing with emergencies could save lives in our city every day.

"The new funding, which will see all frontline ambulance staff trained and their vehicles fitted with the new devices by the end of May, will help our ongoing efforts to improve vital emergency care."

 

Health Minister Malcolm Chisholm said that new technology in ambulances will bring benefits across to patients across Scotland.

He said: "Time is of the essence in the diagnosis of suspected heart problems and these machines mean diagnosis and treatment can start as soon as the ambulance arrives, rather than when it reaches a hospital.

"What this also demonstrates is how far the service has developed over the last 20 years. Long gone is the era when the ambulance was viewed as a basic means of transport with a driver in the front.

"Ambulance crews are highly trained health professionals, working with extremely sophisticated equipment. They are usually the first point of contact for patients in an emergency and are a vital part of the emergency medical team."

Raymond Hepburn added: "Greater Glasgow's paramedics and technicians deserve the best tools and, thanks to the new funding, they will have the most advanced pieces of equipment available to help them respond to life threatening emergencies every day."

ENDS

 

 

NOTES TO EDITORS:

 

  • There are 496 frontline ambulances spread across Scotland, with 65 of these in Greater Glasgow
  • Research undertaken by Heartstart Scotland shows that in 62% of cardiac cases in the country, the Scottish Ambulance Service is the first response and the chances of survival are significantly increased by the use of defibrillators

 

 For media enquiries, contact: Caroline Jarvie on 0141 201 4447

 

 

 

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