Glasgow & West Scotland

'If we can use a defibrillator, anyone can'

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Media caption'If someone my age can use a defibrillator, anyone can.'

Classmates of a 10-year-old who died after collapsing during an ice skating lesson are aiming to raise awareness about the use of defibrillators.

Jayden Orr, from Port Glasgow, died in 2017.

Since then his family has been campaigning and fundraising to install child-friendly defibrillators in schools.

Now pupils at Newark Primary have made a film to show how simple the machines are to use.

One of the pupils, Lana, told BBC Scotland: "What we are trying to show is if you use it, you can save someone's life.

"If someone my age can use a defibrillator, anyone can use a defibrillator."

Image copyright Orr family
Image caption Jayden Orr died while training at an ice rink

It is not clear exactly why Jayden - a promising ice skater who was training for the British Championships - suffered a cardiac arrest. His death, in August 2017, was recorded as sudden death syndrome.

His family do not know if a defibrillator could have helped save him but his mum Kathleen said there was one on site on the day and she now wants to ensure people are confident about how to use them.

"Jayden was a healthy, happy wee boy," she said.

"It was a normal night at skating and he was doing his routine and he skated past and gave us a thumbs up, which he would normally do, then he just got a bit further down the ice and that's when he collapsed and never got back up again.

"There's just a big hole in our lives now. There is something missing."

Image caption Jayden's mum Kathleen wants to tackle the fear people have of actually using the machines
Image copyright Orr family
Image caption Jayden's family say his death has left a "big hole" in their lives

Since Jayden's death, his family has set up a charity in his name and led a campaign to have defibrillators installed in all schools in Inverclyde.

They now also want to focus on helping overcome the fear some people have of actually using them.

"It is a scary machine to people. You think you are going to hurt somebody with it, because it's giving someone a shock," said Mrs Orr.

"But you can't hurt anybody with it."

Image caption The children hope their advert will eventually be shown in medical centres and shared on social media
Image caption The pupils want to demonstrate how easy it is to use the machines

The family has enlisted the help of Jayden's school friends who have been making an advert which they hope will eventually be shown in health centres and shared on social media.

One pupil, Orlaigh, said: "The film we are making is about a couple in the park. The man falls over and isn't breathing so we need to get a defibrillator to start his heart again."

Classmate Lana added: "Jayden was at his ice skating and he collapsed. There was a defibrillator but no-one used it because they didn't have the confidence."

The Jayden's Rainbow charity has so far installed 14 defibrillators.

His mum says getting them into schools and training children in how to use them is key to helping save other young lives.

She added: "I want to make sure that no-one else dies when they don't have to die.

"There is a machine there that can save you and I'm begging people to just use it."

What is a defibrillator and when should it be used?

  • It is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall and should be used when someone is in cardiac arrest.
  • A cardiac arrest is when the heart stops pumping blood around the body. If someone has suddenly collapsed, is not breathing normally and is unresponsive, they are in cardiac arrest.
  • Defibrillators are now commonplace in public areas such as train stations, shopping centres, airports and leisure centres.
  • These defibrillators are often known as public access defibrillators (PAD) as anyone can use them in an emergency.
  • The British Heart Foundation says that you should not be afraid to use a defibrillator if someone has had a cardiac arrest.

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