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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audio Defibrillator for the Blind

by Jasper Hamill

She’s already shown Scotland that blindness is no barrier to becoming a successful DJ …

But now Jill Daley has proved the visually impaired can become life-savers as well.

The 33-year-old radio presenter has been learning how to use techniques to help resuscitate people who are suffering heart attacks.

Staff at Clydebank’s Golden Jubilee hospital demonstrated that defibrillation units, used to treat heart problems by giving electrical shocks, can be used easily by blind people.

The machines come with written instructions but also have technology which gives audio instructions, meaning a blind person could use one in an emergency.

Jill, who also learned CPR, which is used on heart attack victims, said: “I didn’t have a clue about CPR or defibrillation machines before this.

“Now, if someone collapsed, immediately after complaining of chest pains, I would now know precisely what to do.

“These skills are important not just for blind people, but for everybody.”

She added: “I now know what to do if someone is having a heart attack and I also know that a blind person can use a defibrillation machine in, say, a shopping centre or suchlike.”

Defibrillation machines are kept in public areas in case of heart attacks.

Jill was taught at the Golden Jubilee Hospital, Clydebank by Calum Cassidy, a resuscitation officer, and cardiology nurse Joanne Kelly.

As a visually impaired person, Jill claimed she might notice vital signs in a patient.

She said: “I would notice little things that others might not. So I would be able to check someone’s breathing by the feel of their chest going up and down or by feeling their breath on my face. “It showed me there are no reasons why someone with visual impairment couldn’t do a CPR course and save someone’s life.”

She did the course as part of the Fun Friday section on her radio show on Insight Radio, a charity station staffed by blind and visually impaired people.

Her previous challenges have included driving a tank, fire-breathing and helicopter flying.

Jill lost her sight at 19 as a result of diabetes but has forged a successful career in radio.

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Article Source:
Evening Times

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