Life-saving equipment installed at Northumberland venues
A Northumberland charity has funded four new defibrillators in Berwick and Amble.
The life-saving equipment has been installed at Limitless Studio in Berwick, at middle schools in Tweedmouth and Berwick and at Amble Welfare.
The Stephen Carey Fund also recently organised a familiarisation session for local football coaches at Shielfield Park, home of Berwick Rangers.
Dougie McEwan, from the charity, said the use of defibrillators to save the life of Danish footballer Christian Eriksen at the Euro 2020 championships, followed more recently by Newcastle United supporter Alan George Smith, had helped to raise awareness.
“There’s no doubt that when something like that happens we get inundated with requests for defibrillators but unfortunately it’s something that happens quite a lot,” he said.
"When there’s a high profile incident, such as Christian Eriksen or at St James’ Park, people sit up and take notice.
"As a result, we’ve run a number of defibrillator training courses and CPR sessions in places like Alnwick and Berwick over the past couple of months which have been really well attended and that’s very pleasing.”
The charity has funded some 200 defibrillators across Northumberland since it was launched in 2013.
It was set up following the tragic death of Stephen Carey, aged 21, while playing football in July 2012.
He was playing a pre-season friendly match for Alnmouth when he rose to head the ball. He collapsed on landing and, despite the efforts of players, coaching staff and supporters, never regained consciousness.
It was later revealed that Stephen had an undiagnosed heart condition and this was likely to have been triggered during the exertions of the match.
Dougie believes every football team from grassroots level up should have one.
"They’re life-saving pieces of equipment,” he stresses. ‘We believe it is important that everyone knows how to perform CPR.”
CPR is essential in that it takes over the role of the heart and ensures that body function is maintained so that when a defibrillator is utilitised the casualty has the maximum chance of survival.
A defibrillator is an electrical device which is able to assess heart rhythms and where appropriate, deliver a dose of electrical energy to the heart which stops the abnormal rhythm and allows the body’s natural pacemaker to start up a “normal” rhythm.
To find out more visit https://thestephencareyfund.co.uk/