Defibrillator installed at Plaistow crematorium after British Heart Foundation fundraising
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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."
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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.