A Huddersfield sports club has unveiled a new piece of equipment that could mean the difference between life and death.
Staff at Huddersfield YMCA’s Laund Hill celebrated the arrival of their new defibrillator, which they hope could provide crucial support for cardiac arrest victims.
It is believed to be the second sports club in the town to get the ‘essential’ device, which campaigners want to have introduced in venues around the country after one helped to save the life of Bolton Wanderer’s player Fabrice Muamba when he collapsed at White Hart Lane in 2012.
The introduction of the defibrillator also follows the tragic death of 78-year-old referee Colin Heeley, who died of a heart attack at Rectory Park, Dewsbury, last Saturday.
The YMCA club’s rugby team and its board of directors helped raise the £1,600 to buy the automatic external defibrillator, which will be introduced on site later this week.
The money was also used to train eight club members to use the device, which works by sending electric shocks to the heart to encourage it to start pumping again.
According to the Arrhythmia Alliance, they could increase the chances of living for someone suffering from sudden cardiac arrest to 50% if used in combination with CPR.
This compares to the grim survival rate of only 9% for those who are treated on the scene without one.
YMCA vice chairman Malcolm Eastwood said: “We’re really glad that we’ve been able to get this essential piece of equipment and just wish that we could have got it a lot earlier.
“We have over 1,000 members at the club and hold regular matches with other teams so to have this on site is incredibly important.
“Cardiac arrests don’t discriminate between young and old people so this could be a life saving device for anyone who visits us and is a small price to pay if it means increasing the chance of saving someone.
“They are also not uncommon as the sad story of Mr Heeley proves, so are very thankful to the rugby team’s players for donating their money.”
Three other defibrillators have been donated to Barr Street playing fields in Leeds Road, Brighouse Town Football Club and Brook Motors in Jagger Lane, Honley, thanks to a campaign by Aimbry FC player Lee Orton, who suffered a heart attack whilst playing at Barr Street last September.
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