Defibrillator installed at Plaistow crematorium after British Heart Foundation fundraising

East London Cemetery and Crematorium. Picture: Google Maps

East London Cemetery and Crematorium. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Google Maps

A crematorium in Plaistow has received new equipment that could potentially save the lives of mourners attending funerals.

East London Crematorium operator Dignity raised funds for a defibrillator through partnership with charity British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Staff have been trained to use the defibrillator, which is a device that can give a high-energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone in cardiac arrest.

Crematorium manager Toni Slade said: "Every minute without CPR or defibrillation reduces a person's chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by around 10 per cent.

"We will always call an ambulance but wanted to do everything we possibly can to provide immediate help."

In the past six months, two people have died at UK crematoria from heart attacks suffered when attending a funeral.

BHF's Donna Stokes said: "Defibrillators need to be available in areas of greatest risk - such as where crowds gather, a location where people are naturally anxious or under stress, or possibly somewhere that an ambulance may take time to reach due to traffic congestion or distance from a hospital - so a crematorium meets all of these requirements."

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Defibrillators have also been installed at 45 other cematoria operated by Dignity.

Dignity has raised more than £450,000 for BHF since January 2017.