Defibrillator donated to Benbecula

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A potential life saver is coming to Benbecula after a fundraising drive bought a defibrillator for the island’s medical centre.

The equipment – which would be used if someone suffered a heart attack but a doctor wasn’t immediately available – was paid for through a marathon effort by staff from the Scottish Salmon Company.

A recent fundraising drive, organised by the Sandpiper Trust, saw more than £5,000 raised to support a campaign to improve immediate emergency care, particularly in remote and rural areas.

In total, the amount amassed from the effort will pay for five defibrillators, with the Benbecula equipment the first to be delivered.

Doctor Kate Dawson, of Benbecula Medical Practice, said the equipment could save lives: “Heart attacks can happen at any time but there won’t always be an ambulance with a defibrillator in the vicinity.

“By having an out-of-hours defibrillator to-hand as part of the emergency kit, those with proper training will be able to provide additional emergency help when it is most needed.

“A few minutes can sometimes mean the difference between life and death, and this equipment is a welcome addition to the island’s health service.”

The money was raised by 90 members of staff as part of the Scottish Salmon Company’s commitment to working with the communities in which it operates.

The company’s managing director, Craig Anderson, said: “We’re committed to being more than just a local employer, and through annual fundraising events we provide additional help where we can.

“We’ll be donating another four machines to rural areas in Scotland in the next few weeks as part of our on-going work to support our local communities.

“While we hope the defibrillator is never used on Benbecula, the added technology should provide some reassurance that additional help is now available.”