Defibrillators Show Their Worth


Earlier this year, NewsFour reported on efforts to outfit businesses and public spaces around Ringsend, Irishtown and beyond with defibrillators for use in medical emergencies. The devices – AEDs (Automatic External Defibrillators) – are able to diagnose heart arrhythmia and determine when the heartbeat should be corrected by electrical current.

Recently, two emergency situations in the Irishtown and Ringsend areas were resolved and lives saved by the presence of AEDs on site, and the intervention of bystanders trained in their use.

NewsFour spoke with Emmet Switzer, a founder of Intersevens soccer club, who contributed to the fundraising efforts that have led to the installation of defibrillators.

“The hope is to start a fund, in co-operation with local businesses and organisations, to support local initiatives. The defibrillators are part of that. I personally would like to see a defibrillator on every street corner. There are a lot of people in businesses in the area who are trained in their use. Imagine a situation where people knew there were 12 or 14 defibrillators in the area, in case of a situation occurring.”

One such situation occurred at Clanna Gael Fontenoy GAA Club in February. We spoke with Connor Dodd, who was on the scene when Joe Dunne, a local marathon runner, collapsed during a training session. Dodd is versed in the use of AEDs through his training with Irish Water Safety and his employers An Post, and has also been schooled in how to train others in their use.

Dodd and two other bystanders, Michael Egan and James Murphy, were able to intervene with CPR and the defibrillator, and save Dunne’s life. Dodd informs us that Joe is now back running and in full health, thanks to the defibrillator on hand, and his, Egan and Murphy’s quick actions.

Additionally, Emmet Switzer informs NewsFour that there is a downloadable app available for iPhone and Android, called Help Save a Life, where people can upload the locations of defibrillators, so they can be located via smartphone in the event of an emergency.

By Rúairí Conneely