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“Proud to be Kirkby”: local doctor uses town centre defibrillator to save life

A local doctor has praised St. Modwen for its life-saving installation of a defibrillator in Kirkby town centre – after she used it to help a pedestrian in critical condition.

The defibrillator was installed on Cherryfield Drive in August last year and offers immediate, 24/7 support.

Dr. Gill West, a GP at Millbrook Medical Centre said:

“I happened to be driving past and came across the scene – by the time I arrived, somebody else had already run to get the defibrillator. The person in question was unconscious, and because of that, he had a very slow breathing rate – he in fact entered respiratory arrest at one stage. “The vital thing about defibrillators is that they need to be used within four minutes of the patient’s heart going into a shockable rhythm – this is the time it takes for the brain to start shutting down due to lack of oxygen. Any seriously unwell patient needs to have the defibrillator pads on in case of this, and the machine will provide feedback about their condition and give a shock if needed.”

St. Modwen funded the Kirkby town centre defibrillator to support the local community. The town centre security team were subsequently all trained to use it.

Dr. West continued:

“I can’t stress how important it is for a community to have access to equipment like this. Ambulances are so overstretched and can’t always get to the scene on time. Community response is so vital, and it is so encouraging to see that St. Modwen has helped facilitate that by funding the defibrillator.”

In the event that a member of the public needs to access the defibrillator, they will need to call the emergency services immediately who will provide an access code to release the equipment. Clear instructions and visual prompts are provided to guide the user on how to treat the patient.

Mike Matthews, Kirkby Town Centre Manager, said:

“The safety of the local community is our main priority, and I’m delighted to learn that the defibrillator has helped to save a life in Kirkby.”

The affected individual thankfully survived and is now recovering in hospital.

Dr. West added:

“To see everyone rally around this person was absolutely heart-warming, and the quick response of the community absolutely contributed to his survival. The experience made me proud to be part of Kirkby.”

Photograph: Kirkby Town Centre Manager Mike Matthews with the defibrillator installed by St. Modwen on the wall outside Iceland in the town centre.