Hail a life-saver... Black taxi drivers given defibrillators to help save heart patients

Taxi drivers are having their cabs fitted with defibrillators to help them save Londoners who suffer cardiac arrest.

A trial set up by London Ambulance Service gives black cab drivers basic life-saving training and instructions on how to use the electronic devices - writes standard.co.uk

They are alerted to nearby emergencies by the GoodSAM app and can provide immediate help if they arrive before an ambulance. They are trained in how to perform CPR chest compressions and how to place the defibrillator.

If the device detects that the patient’s heart is in a “shockable rhythm”, it allows an electrical charge to be delivered. Survival rates rise from less than 10 per cent to more than 50 per cent when “good samaritans” use defibrillators.

However, fewer than 100 attempts a year are made in London, despite the provision of about 5,000 defibrillators in public locations. Every minute that a cardiac arrest patient waits for medical help decreases their chances of survival by about 10 per cent.

Thirty members of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association are involved in the six-month trial. The app alerts medically trained “first responders” to emergencies, such as someone collapsing.

Fifteen cabbies have been given a defibrillator, while the other 15 will be guided by the app to the nearest one. Garrett Emmerson, LAS chief executive, said the aim was not to replace emergency crews but to capitalise on the willingness of cab drivers to help. The scheme, which will be trialled until October, was suggested by the LTDA.

Mr Emmerson said: “The idea is to test the benefits of having a defib in the cab, as opposed to just using the public access ones. If it’s successful, the idea would be to roll it out. Taxi drivers are a knowledgeable group of people. They can find themselves in a situation where they are closer to patients than we are.”

LAS crews tried to resuscitate 4,448 people in 2016/17. Of those, 1,307 made it alive to hospital and 415 were discharged — a 9.5 per cent survival rate.

Cabbie Paul Tippett, 51, from Waltham Abbey, was inspired to take part in the trial after resuscitating a passenger. He decided to buy his own defibrillator after an incident in Balham, where a woman collapsed but he felt powerless to help.

Several months ago, prior to the LAS scheme, a passenger collapsed in his cab.

Mr Tippett said: “He had an underlying heart condition that made his heart stop for a few seconds. The defibrillator helped his heart go back into its natural rhythm. The absolutely wonderful news is that he is still with us today.”

Read more news of London on our site.

standard.co.uk/
life-saver saveheartpatients
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
An EE customer has said she was stalked by an ex-partner who worked at the firm, after he accessed her personal data without permission. Francesca Bonafede's number was switched to a new handset and her address and bank details were accessed. She said the company failed to take the data breach seriously and she had to involve police. EE "sincerely apologised" to Ms Bonafede, and said the employee no longer worked for the company. 'They didn't seem concerne...
Society
West Ham say they have handed over all of their evidence to the police after completing a "thorough and immediate" investigation into racist abuse shouted at Liverpool's Mohamed Salah. The incident happened during Monday's 1-1 draw at London Stadium. Egypt striker Salah, 26, was filmed on a mobile phone from a section of home supporters as he was taking a corner. "The club is unequivocal in its stance - such abuse will not be tolerated," West Ham said in a...
Society
A body seen in the wreckage of the plane carrying Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson has been recovered, investigators said. Remotely operated Vehicles (ROVs) were used in ‘challenging conditions’ to pull the body out of the water ‘in as dignified a way as possible’ the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said on Wednesday night. The body is being taken to Portland to be passed over to the Dorset coroner for examination, t...
Society
The US president, who has repeatedly criticised the military alliance, would meet with heads of state in London, Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg announced on Wednesday. It would be Mr Trump's second visit to Britain since his election, having jetted in amid swathes of protest last July. I am pleased to announce that allies have agreed that the next meeting of Nato heads of state and government will take place in London in December 2019. The meeting...
Society
Rolf Harris was jailed for five years and nine months in 2014 but released on licence in May 2017 Credit: PA Officials are investigating a report that disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris walked onto the grounds of a primary school and waved at pupils. The convicted sex offender went onto the premises of Oldfield Primary School near his home in Bray, Maidenhead, to talk to a sculptor working in the grounds, the Daily Mirror reported. Harris, who was jailed fo...
Crime
Two men have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a teenager was stabbed to death. Police and London Ambulance Service were called to Wolsey Court, off Westbridge Road in Battersea, at 7.52pm on Tuesday following reports of a stabbing. A 19-year-old man was found with stab injuries and died at the scene at 8.36pm despite paramedics battling to save his life. The stabbing took place less than half a mile from Prince George's primary school, Thomas's B...
Society
The girl, who has been named Roman by nurses, was found at around 10pm on Thursday in the park in Roman Road in East Ham.  Police said Roman was wrapped in a white towel and placed in the shopping bag on the ground next to a bench in the small children's play park.  The baby was rushed to hospital where she was in a stable condition on Friday morning, the Metropolitan Police said.  Roman was discovered by grandmother-of-one Rima Zvaliauskiene, 50, just 100...
Society
The operation to recover the doomed plane carrying Emiliano Sala off Guernsey could be hampered by days of poor weather as the man brought in by the footballer's family to find him said he could be in the wreckage. The English Channel is being battered by torrential ran, 40mph winds and 10ft waves with the poor conditions set to continue - and worsen - until the end of the week, MailOnline can reveal today. The families of the £15million striker and his pi...
Society
Train passengers are being warned of major disruption after overhead electric wires were damaged near one of London’s busiest stations. Network Rail said services travelling to and from Liverpool Street could be cancelled or revised until 8am on Thursday. Wires between Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green, east London, were damaged, with the outage impacting Greater Anglia, London Overground, Stansted Express and Transport for London Rail services. Passenger...