New AED located at Te Raekura Redcliffs School

Te Raekura Redcliffs School principal Nick Leith and Sumner Ferrymead Foundation trustee John Christensen

The Sumner Ferrymead Foundation provided Te Raekura Redcliffs School with the funds to purchase an automated external defibrillator – or an AED as they are commonly known – after former principal Rose McInerney heard how a grandparent at another school had a cardiac arrest when dropping of their grandchild. One of her last actions was to contact the Foundation to see if they could assist in the purchase of an AED for the school.

An AED is a portable medical device that is used when a person is suffering a cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in NZ and is caused by an electrical problem unlike a heart attack which is caused by a blood circulation problem. The device analyses the heart’s rhythm and, when required, delivers an electric shock to help re-establish an effective rhythm; this can increase someone’s survival chances by up to 44%. They are intended for use by the general public as the device tells you exactly what to do.

Current principal Nick Leith said they chose an AED that can be used on both children and adults at a flick of a switch given it was located at the school. “We have sited it on the main building where its clearly visible whether you enter the school from the Main Rd entrance or from Beachville Rd. We’d encourage all residents to familiarise themselves with its location just in case they need to use it one day.

Sumner Ferrymead Foundation trustee, John Christensen, said this was the second AED unit the Foundation has funded. “We are all about locals helping locals, and this is a perfect example how we can add value to our community. Like an insurance policy, you hope it won’t be needed, but if the need arises it’s good to know it’s there. Given more than 2000 New Zealanders are treated for sudden cardiac arrest in the community, the risk is real. There are several apps you can put on your phone that list the locations of AEDs closest to you, it is something we should all consider doing now rather than waiting for the emergency to arise.

How to use an AED

  1. Ring 111 and tell the operator you need to the code to open the AED unit at your location e.g., Te Raekura Redcliffs School, or quote the number of the AED (273 in this case) Someone should remain with the patient and perform CPR whilst the AED is being retrieved.
  2. Open the cabinet and remove both the AED and the pouch Take it to the patient ASAP as minutes count.
  3. Open the AED, push the ON button It will talk you through each step of the process clearly and simply. The 111 operator will remain on the phone until the ambulance arrives.
  4. Return the AED unit to the cabinet when no longer required.