Watch as retired nurse gives step-by-step demonstration of how to use a defibrillator to save a life

Watching this video really could be the difference between life and death.
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An increasing number of defibrillators are being installed across venues in the city, but if you were ever placed in a situation of needing to use one would you know what to do?

Last month (March) it was announced by the Sunderland Health and Wellbeing Board that 29 new defibrillators were being installed across the city.

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Although Sunderland still lags behind when compared to the national average of defibrillators for every 10,000 people, there’s no denying they can be the difference between life and death.

Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation can more than double the chances of survival. Every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces the chance of survival by up to ten per cent.  For retired Sunderland Royal Hospital nurse and founder of training provider First Aid CPR, Neville Harris feels knowing how to use the life-saving equipment is just as important as having more defibrillators available.

Neville Harris with two life saving defibrillators.Neville Harris with two life saving defibrillators.
Neville Harris with two life saving defibrillators.

Neville, 59, said: “I have been involved in a campaign to ensure every village in Washington has a defibrillator and we now have 30 in the town.

“But I do sometimes wonder if I was to collapse and was fortunate to be near to a defibrillator would someone know what to do?

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“There is now a defibrillator outside the Victoria Inn pub. My friend was there when someone collapsed. He opened the defibrillator and wasn’t sure what to do with it.

“There were other people just standing around watching.

“He did his best, but sadly this person didn’t survive.”

Neville knows first-hand from both his professional and personal life just how vital having access to a defibrillator but more importantly knowing how to use it can be.

In 2019 he saved the life of a fellow runner who collapsed in the Great North Run and a few years later he used a defibrillator to revive an opposition player who collapsed during a game of football.

The retired nurse and firefighter is currently running free courses at Columbia Community Association Centre in Washington, teaching basic first aid, and in particular how to use a defibrillator and administer CPR. For those people unable to attend a first aid course, Neville has also created a video which he has sent to the Echo giving a step-by-step demonstration of how to use a defibrillator and administer CPR.

Neville said: “It’s vital people get this training because you never know when you could be put in a situation where you may have to respond and do something.”

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