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Heart attack victim saved by on-site defibrillator

Patersons defib

Prompt action of colleague saves contractor’s life following sudden cardiac arrest at Patersons Quarries site   

A DECISION to install an automated external defibrillator (AED) and the prompt actions of a colleague have saved the life of a contractor who suffered a sudden cardiac arrest at a quarry site in Coatbridge, Scotland.

The contractor, who was in his early 50s and had started work at the site shared by Patersons Quarries Ltd and Gartsherrie Engineering Ltd on the day of the incident, had complained to a colleague of feeling unwell and then suddenly collapsed.


The AED, a Powerheart G3 unit from Cardiac Science, was used within five minutes by fast-acting Allan Murphy (left of photo), a member of the Gartsherrie Engineering Ltd team, saving the contractor’s life. An ambulance arrived within seven minutes of the call to the emergency services.

Due to the nature of the environment, the use of heavy plant machinery and the number of staff, contractors and customers at the site on a daily basis, Russell McGowan (right of photo), health and safety manager at Patersons Quarries Ltd, approached Cardiac Science to supply a Powerheart G3 device.

Mr McGowan said: ‘We have more than 60 people on site every day, so the decision to deploy an AED was a sensible precaution. You always hope that you’ll never have to actually use the defibrillator, but in this case it proved to be a life saver.’

Staff at the site received training on the Powerheart G3 from Cathy Newlands (centre of photo), a trainer with Stewart First Aid Training, one of Scotland’s largest independent first aid at work training providers.

She said: ‘We have been working with Cardiac Science for more than seven years, so we know how rugged and durable their Powerheart model is, which is why we recommend it for construction, manufacturing and engineering environments. The staff at the quarry were excellent and understood the importance of the AED to their safety.’

Mr McGowan added: ‘We take safety across our group extremely seriously and I would urge other businesses to install an AED. They can and do save lives.’


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