Ambulance boss: Stolen defib could kill

HEALTH chiefs have handed out a stark safety warning after a portable defibrillator device was stolen from the back of an ambulance.Paramedics were attending an emergency call on the Esplanade in Lowestoft between 1pm and 2pm on Bank Holiday Monday when the theft happened.

HEALTH chiefs have issued a stark safety warning after a portable defibrillator was stolen from the back of an ambulance.

Paramedics were attending an emergency call on the Esplanade in Lowestoft between 1pm and 2pm on Bank Holiday Monday when the theft happened.

Rob Lawrence, chief locality officer for the East of England Ambulance Service in Suffolk, warned the defibrillator - which will cost £3,500 to replace - could kill if used to resuscitate a healthy heart.

He said: “The ambulance crews who operate this equipment are trained to do so and there could be a serious risk to anyone it was used on.


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“Unlike the automated defibrillators kept in a public places, or those used by local first responder schemes, this device can deliver a shock at the press of a button.

“If the person who has it decided to act out a cardiac arrest scene, attaching the pads and pressing the wrong button, a considerable shock could be delivered to a healthy beating heart which would send it into arrhythmia, closely followed by arrest.

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“Quite simply in the wrong hands this machine could kill instead of save and whoever stole it is literally putting other lives at risk.”

Anyone with information about the theft or the whereabouts of the stolen equipment should call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Anyone who finds the equipment is asked to hand it in at the nearest police or ambulance station.

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