Two of the busiest stations on the Tyne and Wear Metro system have been fitted with life-saving defibrillators.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, has funded the installation of defibrillators at Haymarket and Monument Metro stations in the centre of Newcastle.
The devices, known as defibs, are there for people to use if someone suffers a cardiac arrest. Defibrillators deliver an electric shock to the chest to restore a person’s heart to a normal rhythm.
Monument and Haymarket were chosen as locations as these stations see the highest volume of Metro passengers on a daily basis. Monument sees 10 million passengers a year, while Haymarket gets 6.5 million passengers per year.
Metro customer service staff have been provided with briefings on how to use the defibrillators.
Metro Services Director, Chris Carson, said: “Defibrillators can deliver life-saving treatment in an emergency and we felt that it was high time that we installed them at Metro’s busiest stations.
“There are now defibrillators ready for use at Haymarket and Monument Metro stations, which see millions of passengers pass through there every year.
“Our frontline Metro staff have been briefed on what they need to do, but the defibs also there for a member of the public to use in the event someone has suffered a cardiac arrest. When you dial 999 the North East Ambulance Service will always know where the nearest defib is located.”
Paul Brolly, Community Resuscitation Training Officer at North East Ambulance Service said: “There have been over 200 calls to these two metro stations alone in the last 12 months, any number of which could have referred to someone who might have needed a defibrillator. The installation of the defibrillators in both metro stations will help provide immediate care to a patient whose life it at risk, where every second counts.
“A patient who suffers a cardiac arrest, stands a much better chance of survival if someone with a defibrillator can attend the patient in the first minutes of collapse.”
Nikki Bell, BHF Fundraising Manager in Tyne and Wear said: “We are thrilled that Nexus have taken this extra step to protect the safety of their passengers. There are around 1,700 out of hospital cardiac arrests every year in the North East and sadly only 1 in 15 of these people will survive.
“With use of CPR and these defibrillators a victim’s chance of survival can increase by almost 50% and we’re very happy to be involved with ensuring staff and passengers know what to do in an emergency. We can do something about improving the North East’s survival rate, well done to Nexus for taking that first step.”
Defibrillators are intended for use by anyone in public places. They are found in schools, airports, leisure centres, hospitals, clinics and ambulances.