Passers by save life of elderly man in Devizes
An off duty police officer and a member of the public have been praised for helping to resuscitate an elderly man in Devizes who suffered a cardiac arrest.
The 78-year-old man, who was visiting Devizes, collapsed on Thursday afternoon as he was walking along the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath opposite the Black Horse pub in Bath Road with his wife and a friend. An off duty officer from the Metropolitan Police was walking behind him and went to his aid.
He was joined by a member of the public and they took it turns to do CPR on the man until ambulance crews arrived.
A paramedic in a rapid response car arrived three minutes later, followed by an double crewed ambulance and Ross Culligan, a paramedic with the Wiltshire Air Ambulance who drove to the scene.
The paramedics restored the man’s heartbeat after 30 minutes and he was taken to police headquarters in London Road, Devizes, and flown by the Wiltshire Air Ambulance to the Great Western Hospital, Swindon, a journey which took six minutes.
Mr Culligan said the early intervention of the members of the public was important.
He said: “The patient was out for a walk on the canal towpath and had a sudden collapse due to a cardiac arrest. Luckily for him an off duty Metropolitan police officer who had just done his first aid qualifier was there and gave him CPR. A member of the public, a man, joined him and said he knew how to do CPR so they took it turns until paramedics arrived.
“Without their quick thinking and their actions the patient would have stood no chance of survival. There is a greater public knowledge about CPR and people aren’t afraid of doing it.
“When paramedics arrived they began advanced life support. We managed to get the patient’s heart started again after 30 minutes. He was taken by the Wiltshire Air Ambulance to the Great Western Hospital for angioplasty.”
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