A local student from St Mary’s High School, has been presented with a HeartSine® defibrillator for her school as a result of winning the ‘Most Innovative Medical Application’ award for her entry in the national Sentinus Big Bang competition.
Competing against thousands of other young aspiring engineers from across the UK, Erin Bennett designed a medical device which helps clinicians analyse an asthma sufferer’s chest acoustics and carefully monitor and improve their condition.
St Mary’s High School was presented with the defibrillator by James McGuiness of Belfast-based HeartSine Technologies, which manufactures and exports lifesaving automated external defibrillators to 70 countries worldwide.
James McGuiness said:
“Erin’s contribution to medical science is a remarkable example of how the engineering talent here in Northern Ireland is really starting to prosper.
“We at HeartSine Technologies encourage young, budding scientists to embrace and nurture their talents in order to achieve great things.
“Erin’s accomplishment demonstrates how hard work, determination and forward thinking can result in the creation of a product that can really help to make a difference to people’s lives, which is something HeartSine Technologies strives to achieve with each of our automated external defibrillators (AEDs).
“Results show that cases of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest when CPR alone is used, is less than 5%; however, when combined with the use of an AED, survival rates can increase to over 70%.
“Incredibly, 84% of SCAs happen outside of a hospital environment, so it’s of critical importance that we work together with local authorities to increase public access to lifesaving defibrillators within the community.
“I wish all the pupils in St Mary’s High School the best of luck in the academic year ahead and I particularly wish Erin every success in her future endeavours as a pioneering medical engineer.”
Adding comment, school teacher of St Mary’s High School, Mrs Ann Bennett said:
“We are extremely proud of Erin’s accomplishment in the Sentinus Big Bang competition, which we have no doubt will be the first award of many more to come.
“Having the HeartSine defibrillator within the school helps to give parents and staff further reassurance knowing we have the correct equipment in place to cope with a sudden cardiac arrest and give immediate treatment until the emergency services arrive on scene.
“We are very grateful to HeartSine Technologies for this generous donation and we hope it will inspire more young entrepreneurs to pursue a career in medical science.”
HeartSine defibrillators are manufactured in Belfast and available in over 30 languages.
The easy to use automated device talks the responder through the ‘save’ process which can help keep the victim alive until professional medical assistance arrives at the scene.
The AED will be located in the St Mary’s High School, 72-90 Irish Green Street, Limavady, BT49 9AN