Paramedics train Newham leisure centre staff to save lives

Leisure centre staff across Newham have been given specialist equipment and training to treat customers having a heart attack.

State-of-the-art defibrillators, machines that deliver an electric shock to restart someone’s heart when it stops, have been installed in the Atherton centre in Stratford, Balaam centre in Plaistow, the East Ham centre on Barking Road and the Newham Leisure Centre in Plaistow.

Staff have also received specialist training from the London Amubulance Service (LAS), who receive 125,000 calls a year from people complaining of chest pain, so they know how to use the equipment should a customer suffer a cardiac arrest.

Paramedic Training Officer Claire Adams said: “With cardiac arrest, every second counts in the delivery of basic life support.

“When a person’s heart stops there is limited time in which to deliver a shock, and after that time has passes there is little chance of survival.

She added: “There are over 600 other public-access defibrillators like these in places like train stations, shopping centres and tourist attractions in London, with local staff there trained to use them.

“Last year, the survival rate of cardiac arrest patients in these venues was 32 per cent.

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“This is much higher than the overall out-of-hospital survival rate in the capital of 22.8 per cent.”

GLL, who run the sports centres, are the first UK leisure operators to take part in the joint intiative with LAS and the British Heart Foundation.

GLL director of operations Andy McCabe said: “We are really pleased to have this life-saving equipment on-site.

“Every year we have many thousands of visitors to the leisure centres we operate and there is of course a risk that one or more of these may suffer a heart attack or cardiac arrest.”