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La Orotava praised for heart machine campaign and saving tourist 

La Orotava’s bid to become a pioneering life-saving municipality is continuing on its successful path and has already shown its worth.

As three new semi-automatic defibrillator heart machines were recently officially presented, the Mayor Francisco Linares revealed that the life of one tourist was saved as a direct result of the project.

The holiday-maker had been visiting La Orotava when he suffered a heart attack and collapsed. Fortunately, quick-thinking police officers were on the scene and were able to revive him using a defibrillator.

The man was then taken to hospital and made a complete recovery. Later, he also wrote to the Mayor thanking the police and the town’s campaign for saving his life.

The crucial project goes under the banner of “Salvar vidas” (“Saving Lives”) and has been running for four years.

Each year, the council makes an investment towards updating the equipment and training staff in its municipal centres where 15 of the heart machines are based.

Two of the new defibs will be placed in the public library and the municipal stadium of Los Cuartos whilst the third will remain in a police assistance vehicle so they now have two.

Other locations include the town hall, the sports centres and swimming pools, the Auditorio Teobaldo Power and the San Agustin Culture House, as well as the municipal schools of music, dance and art among others.

The Mayor said this plan was a priority as “nothing is considered an expense considering the incredible results which can be achieved.”

Sr. Linares said the idea was to have a complete network of heart machines across the municipality in public places attended by a lot of people. He announced that in the next four years, it is hoped to have ten more.

“It is a serious and clear commitment to help save lives and give peace of mind and security to the population,” he said.

 Deputy councillor for security, Narciso Pérez said La Ototava was one of the municipalities in the Canary Islands to have the most defibs in public places.

He pledged their continued support and further training. So far, more than 50 people have learnt how to use the heart machine in the event of an emergency.

Director of Hospimédica Canarias, Salvador Rosell praised La Orotava and stressed the importance of the defibrillators which can give an immediate response in the case of cardiac arrest. They can save a life in more than 75 per cent of cases.

The representative of the company that dispenses these defibrillators explained the operation of these devices and the relevance of them in sports facilities or installations where large audiences congregate.

“It’s important that people know how to react on time and well, because the sooner you act the better the chance of saving a life; and it’s not always that the health medics and ambulance can reach in time, ” he said.