Cardiac patients donate vital equipment to Basildon hospital

CARDIAC patients have donated a piece of vital equipment to the hospital which saved their lives.

Representatives from the Hearts and Minds charity returned to Basildon Hospital‟s Cardiothoracic Centre (CTC) with the £7,000 automated chest compression machine.

The charity was established in 2008 by heart attack and cardiac arrest patients who wanted to „give something back‟ to the hospital where they had been rehabilitated. Hearts and Minds chairman Andrew Catley, suffered a cardiac arrest when he was refereeing a football match.

He said: “This piece of kit is a lifesaver and as a group we don‟t think we can do much better than to save someone‟s life. It replaces manual cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) which is the first aid method used if someone is not breathing properly or their heart has stopped. “Manual CPR is only effective for two minutes per person because of the physical exertion. This machine will go on all day!”

The Hearts and Minds charity was set up to provide a support network for patients and their families. Andrew added: “Having a heart attack or cardiac arrest can be a very traumatic experience – it‟s a massive shock mentally and physically. The hospital can put you back together physically but it‟s also important to have support from people who have had the same experience.” The charity meets every month and raises funds through events including quiz, curry and bingo nights and barn dances.

Andrew added: “This is our way of saying „thank you‟ to Basildon Hospital.” Keith Loakman, lead resuscitation officer at Basildon Hospital, said: “This kit takes away the inconsistency of people doing chest compressions themselves and will ensure on-going effective chest compressions during the treatment of a cardiac arrest. It means we have two chest compression devices in the CTC, to enable the intervention and treatment of multiple events in the Cardiac Cath Labs and on the wards within the CTC.” heart

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