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Public access defibrillator installed at University brings tally to 13

Lifesaving equipment accessible to members of the local community has been installed at University of Gloucestershire, following a fundraising initiative by a member of The Growth Hub team.

Katie Thomas, Events Co-ordinator at The Growth Hub – based at the University’s Oxstalls Campus in Gloucester – organised busking sessions in Gloucester with her bandmates in the ukulele group Crossed uKeys to raise money for a defibrillator.

Katie collaborated with the co-founder of the Public Hearts Defibrillator Campaign, Clare Seed, on finding a publicly accessible location for the defibrillator, after the pub for which it was originally intended underwent a change of management.

Clare suggested that the University would be an ideal location, having worked successfully with Jonathan Wye, the University’s Health, Safety and Quality Manager University, in installing a defibrillator at its Oxstalls Campus last autumn.

The new equipment, at the Oxstalls Campus, raises the number of defibrillators across the University’s locations in Cheltenham and Gloucester – all accessible to the public, as well as University staff and students – to 13.

Research suggests that if a defibrillator is placed on a patient within the first two minutes of suffering a cardiac arrest, the chances of survival can increase by up to 80%.

Katie Thomas (below) said: “The band was so grateful for all the support and encouragement it received from members of the public while we were busking in Gloucester and we’re thrilled that thanks to everyone’s kind donations, there is now another defibrillator at the University that is accessible to everyone.

“Hopefully, the defibrillator will never have to be used, of course, but it’s reassuring to know that it’s there should the need ever arise, and it could literally prove to be a lifesaver.”

Jonathan Wye said: “On behalf of the University, I’m enormously grateful to Katie for donating a defibrillator and to Clare Seed, from the Public Hearts Campaign, for providing a new battery and making the device ‘rescue ready’.

“This is the second Public Hearts defibrillator we have recently installed at our Oxstalls campus that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for students, staff, visitors and the local community.”

The Public Hearts Campaign is a local initiative that seeks to raise awareness about the importance of defibrillators and to make them more accessible.

Clare Seed said: “Public Hearts is delighted to do the double with Jonathan Wye of University of Gloucestershire and Katie Thomas of The Growth Hub.

“Katie funded this defibrillator through her ukulele group and we were able to bring it back into service with new pads and battery pack. This defibrillator is number 41 for our not-for-profit Public Hearts Defibrillator Campaign.

“With current out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates at less than 10%, the more defibrillators placed, and accessible in the community, the better.”

Main image: left to right, Katie Thomas, Clare Seed and Jonathan Wye