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Life-saving device gets hearts racing at Uplands RFC

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: April 17, 2014

Paul Brookes of Welsh Hearts presents a defibrillatior to Uplands club chairman Phil Owen.

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RUGBY often sets the pulses racing, but help is at hand at one Swansea rugby club, if things turn a little more serious.

Swansea Uplands RFC is believed to be the first in Wales to have been fitted out with a defibrillator, which can save lives by delivering an electric shock to people suffering a cardiac arrest, returning the heart to a normal rhythm.

The defibrillator, which will be kept at the club's base in Upper Killay, was supplied by charity Welsh Hearts, and will be available to volunteers from the Killay Community First responder group, who are trained to use them.

The cost of the equipment was partly met by fundraising ferret racing night held at the club.

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A Swansea Uplands RFC spokesman said: "It was a great night of fun and laughter, which was very well supported by members and friends of the club.

"Plans are now being made for training sessions provided by the Welsh Ambulance service and ongoing training to be supplied by a team of doctors, who are going into rugby clubs and schools across Wales. They will be teaching CPR and defibrillator training which, it is hoped, will save many lives as a consequence.

"Access to the defibrillator will be when the club is open and then also available to the community if required."

Cardiovascular disease accounts for a third of all deaths in Wales with approximately 8,000 cardiac arrests occurring outside hospital each year. After a cardiac arrest, the chance of survival drops by 14 per cent for every minute which passes without treatment, so public defibrillators could be key in saving lives.

A spokesman for charity Welsh Hearts, which has already supplied 45 defibrillators across Wales, added: "We are delighted to be able to donate Swansea Uplands Rugby Club with a defibrillator that will benefit the whole of the community and visitors to the area."

The defibrillator is the second in the Killay area, with another already at home at The Village Inn on Killay precinct.

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