48-year-old Fifer's survival highlights importance of defibrillators

A 48-year-old Fifer was able to enjoy a BBQ with his family last weekend, thanks to the use of a defibrillator nine months ago.

By Jamie Callaghan
Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 2:06 pm
Kelly and Paul Scott.
Kelly and Paul Scott.

In October 2020, Paul Scott suffered a cardiac arrest while he was at home in Anstruther.

His wife, Kelly, who does some CPR training annually through her work as a foster parent with Fife Council, managed to remain calm and, after phoning 999, started CPR, sending her son for the nearby Public Access Defibrillator(PAD), one of a network of PADs managed by local charity East Neuk First Responders.

Kelly along with a neighbour and son Derry performed CPR and delivered six shocks to get Paul’s heart started.

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The ambulance crew arrived and worked to stabilise Paul before rushing him to Ninewells hospital, during which time his heart stopped a further three times.

Miraculously, six weeks later Paul was back home leading a near normal life and now is back delivering his fish. Last weekend, he was, like many Fifers, making the most of the sun and enjoying a family BBQ.

Gillian Duncan, co-ordinator of East Neuk First Responders, said: “It is fantastic to see Paul looking so fit and well – Kelly did an amazing job.

"However, the stark reality is that without the Public Access Defibrillator Paul would not have survived his cardiac arrest. Early CPR helps buy time but will not restart the heart, and for every minute delay up to ten per cent chance of survival is lost.

"While Kelly had some training which made her even more effective, these life saving devices can be used by anyone, no training is required.”

Gillian went on to urge anyone who is faced with an unresponsive casualty who is not breathing normally to phone 999, start CPR and use a defibrillator as soon as possible.

The devices are fool proof and will not deliver a shock unless one is required. Stryker, the manufacturer of the defibrillator used to save Paul, is to donate a defibrillator through its Forward Hearts scheme, which it is hoped will be placed at the new care village development at Mayview, Anstruther.