Dalkeith’s first lifesaving defibrillator for public use in an emergency has been officially unveiled, thanks to a partnership between Melville Housing Association and Dalkeith and District Community Council.
Fully funded by Melville as part of the Community Council’s proposed life-saving network, the vital resuscitation device is now in place in a secure cabinet on the publicly accessible wall of the Corn Exchange car park (behind the Bombay Lounge restaurant) at the east end of Dalkeith High Street.
It is available for use 24 hours a day and registered with the Scottish Ambulance Service. Meaning that members of the public, on dialling 999 in the event of a cardiac emergency in the local area, will be given the access code, allowing them to start treatment before the paramedics arrive.
“We’re delighted to be involved in the community council’s fantastic, life-saving project to locate a network of public access defibrillators across Dalkeith,” said Andrew Noble, chief executive of Melville Housing Association.
“Since 2016 when we moved to the Corn Exchange we’ve had a defibrillator in our office but thankfully up till now it’s never been needed.
“Over the past three years however the defibrillator has only been available during office hours, while statistically heart attacks are most likely to occur in the early morning (before 10am), so it made sense to make it accessible all day, every day.
“Hopefully it will never be needed but even if it’s only ever used once, it could be the difference between life and death for someone having a heart attack.”
A defibrillator can be used to help a person suffering a sudden cardiac arrest, where there’s a serious interruption to the heart’s normal rhythm, and works by delivering an electric shock to kick-start the heart back into its normal pattern.
Evelyn Fleck of Dalkeith and District Community Council, said, “Defibrillators in public places have been designed so that any member of the public can use them, without any training needed.
“Over the past year or so we’ve been working with organisations across Dalkeith to establish a network of these and we’re so grateful to Melville for the work they’ve done in becoming the first to go live.
“This defibrillator is available to anyone needing it, and can shock the heart into starting again after it’s stopped. Every second counts in a cardiac arrest so it’s vital that someone can step in to perform CPR and use a defibrillator before an ambulance arrives.”