Belfast Telegraph

A round of applause for every life that is saved

By Clare Weir

Every life saved by a HeartSine defibrillator is recorded.

When the data from the device is relayed back to Northern Ireland from wherever in the world it was used, the Belfast workers are gathered together and the people who made it are given a round of applause.

Declan O'Mahoney, chief executive of HeartSine Technologies, said that more than 40 lives have been saved by the company's products this year, including a 12-year-old girl in an American schoolyard.

"We're a hi-tech medical company, it's a very interesting place to work, but we are interested in saving lives," he said.

"We make a device which, when it is used, automatically sends data back to us to tell us who made the product, when it was made, and if it has saved a life, where and when.

"And we then feel is is right to celebrate the fact that a life has been saved."

He said that incidents like the collapse of footballer Fabrice Muamba during a match in March 2012 had helped raise awareness about the prevalence of sudden cardiac arrest.

The former midfielder with Bolton Wanderers survived, despite his heart having stopped for 78 minutes, thanks to CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED) made in Belfast.

Fabrice is currently an ambassador for the Arrythmia Alliance's Heart and Goals campaign, which has been helping place defibrillators across communities up and down the UK.

He was given 15 defibrillation shocks in all – two on the pitch, one in the tunnel and 12 in the ambulance.

Another survivor is Chris McNeill of Coleraine, who collapsed seven minutes into a football match in July 2011 when he was aged 17 but was revived.

Belfast Telegraph