Contractor’s life saved after defib move


A decision to install an automated external defibrillator (AED) and the prompt actions of a colleague have saved the life of a contractor who suffered a sudden cardiac arrest at a site in Coatbridge.

The contractor, who was in his early 50s and had started work at the site shared by Patersons Quarries Limited and Gartsherrie Engineering Ltd, on the day of the incident had complained to a colleague of feeling unwell and then suddenly collapsed. The AED, a Powerheart G3 from Cardiac Science, was used within five minutes by Allan Murphy, a fast-acting member of the Gartsherrie Engineering Ltd team, saving the contractor’s life. An ambulance arrived within seven minutes of the call to the emergency services.

Due to the nature of the environment, the use of heavy plant machinery and the number of staff, contractors and customers at the site daily, Russell McGowan, Health & Safety Manager at Patersons Quarries Ltd, approached Cardiac Science to supply its Powerheart G3. Russell McGowan said: “We have over 60 people on site every day, so the decision to deploy an AED was a sensible precaution. You always hope that you never have to actually use the defib, but in this case it proved to be a life saver.”

Staff at the site received training on the Powerheart G3 from Cathy Newlands who has been a trainer for one of Scotland’s largest independent first aid at work training providers, Stewart First Aid Training, since 2005. Cathy said: “We have been working with Cardiac Science for over seven years, so we know how rugged and durable their Powerheart model is, which is why we recommend it for construction, manufacturing and engineering environments.

The staff at the quarry were excellent, and understood the importance of the AED to their safety.” Russell added: “We take safety across our group extremely seriously and I would urge other businesses to install an AED. It can and does save lives.”

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