The founder of Castlebar Heartsaver Donal Geraghty, who is also running as an independent candidate in the upcoming local elections, has spoken out about the importance of people being trained in CPR/AED. Geraghty has also called for more defibrillators in public spaces including the streets of Castlebar.
The independent candidate, who has been a member of Castlebar Order of Malta for 8 years and who was recently awarded a prize for setting up Belmullet / Erris Order of Malta Unit set up Castlebar Heartsaver to locate public access defibrillators in the Town and provide CPR/AED training last year.
Since then Castlebar Heartsaver has been running CPR/AED courses on a regular basis and anyone interested in participating in such a course can contact him on 087 1707414 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Geraghty has issued a sincere welcome to the purchase of two defibrillators for Castlebar town centre by local businessman Pat Staunton and he has appealed to the public to assist in the fundraising drive for a third such device.
Castlebar Heartsaver are only €600 shy of the total amount required to buy the third defibrillator having received €1,150 from Castlebar Town Council through an amenity grant.
"While it is good and well having these lifesaving defibrillators in public spaces it is imperative that members of the general public are trained in their use," Geraghty explained.
"Over 5,000 die in Ireland each year from sudden cardiac arrest and more lives could be saved if there were more defibrillators in public places and more people trained to use them," he added.
Sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart stops beating and 70 per cent occur out of hospital and in the presence of a family member or friend. The survival rate at present is a very low five per cent and Geraghty, as part of his election campaign, is stressing the importance of having defibrillators, in good working use available at key public locations as well as members of the public being trained to use them.
The chain of survival is key to ensuring that people survive a cardiac arrest and early CPR and rapid defibrillation are two important links on that chain that could prove life saving.