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New bleed kits to be added to Frome’s defibrillator network

Frome is set to benefit from a joint initiative between Avon and Somerset Police, HeartSafe and NHS England South West, providing emergency bleed kits to rural communities. The bleed kits will be installed alongside Frome’s network of 29 defibrillators, funded by the Friends of Frome Hospital and managed by a team of eight Defibrillator Guardians, who regularly check and monitor them.

To date, the partnership has funded over 130 bleed kits, to be installed with existing HeartSafe defibrillator cabinets across Avon and Somerset, allowing the public immediate access should a person suffer a catastrophic bleed.

This initiative aims to make bleed kits readily accessible to the public, in order to give members of the public the equipment to help preserve or save a life in the event of an emergency in which a person is losing a lot of blood having sustained an injury.

The highly visible red dispensers will give members of the public free access to this trauma kit in the event of an emergency, providing instant first-aid to someone who is experiencing significant loss of blood or a catastrophic bleed during the moments before an ambulance arrives on the scene.

Frome was chosen as a prime location for the bleed kits as it was a leader in the provision for publicly accessible defibrillators in the community. The Friends of Frome Hospital, supported by residents, businesses and local organisations commenced installation of defibrillators in 2014. By June 2015, there were 18 defibrillators in and around the community; this number has now increased to 29.

Richard Lines, Trustee of FoFH and Defibrillator Co-ordinator said, “The defibrillator programme which has been run by the Friends for 10 years has been a tremendous success and has provided support widely throughout the community. The Frome defibrillators were accessed 50 times last year and undoubtedly helped save lives”.

Ken Fricker, Chair of Trustees of FoFH said, “We are extremely proud of the team that had the initiative to set up the scheme and the guardians, who now ensure they are always available in an emergency. Frome was the first town in the country to provide a comprehensive network of Public Access Defibrillators. One of the issues with being an early adopter of the supply of defibrillators is that our equipment is now coming to the end of its warranty period. We are currently investigating options how to maintain the defibrillators but there will be a need to start replacing equipment which will be a large financial commitment.”

The Friends of Frome Hospital are planning events to highlight the locations of the defibrillators and bleed kits and provide resources to ensure everyone feels confident in using the equipment in an emergency.

23 May 2024
Last Updated
24 May 2024
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