Heart equipment goes missing from campus

by Gazette Reporter

Gardai in Blanchardstown are investigating the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of a vital piece of medical equipment from an all-weather pitch at the Institute of Technology in Blanchardstown (ITB).
It is understood that the defibrillator, which is used to save lives from cardiac arrest, was taken earlier this month from the college grounds.
According to a senior Garda source, it was reported missing earlier this week and they will be looking into it.
“It has been reported missing but whether it’s been stolen or not, that still has to be established.”
Gardai are now appealing to anyone with information to get in contact. “This is similar to stealing a life-buoy. It’s a despicable thing to do and we want to get it back.
“This is a medical device and there is no other use for it. It is a dangerous device and people could get an electric shock from it,” the garda said.
Local community groups, especially sports clubs, are being asked to be vigilant and report anyone trying to sell a defibrillator or to be wary of such costly devices being given as gifts.
The cost of such a device, according to Safety Ireland a distributor of DefibTech, can range from €950 to €2,000 depending on the model. 14
Dublin West TD Patrick Nulty (Ind) said if it has been stolen it is “beneath contempt” that someone would do that.
“I hope anyone who would have information in relation to this serious incident reports it – it is quite shocking.
“People are far more aware of heart conditions and for people that are physically fit, but have an underlying condition, the availability of a defibrillator can be the difference between life and death. If anyone would try to make a profit from that disgraceful action, I have no doubt the community would respond by giving that information to the Garda.
“Sports facilities at the college are not only used by students there but also by a number of community organisations. It is a cold and nasty thing to do. It is something that is not just an offence against the college, but it is an offence against the entire Dublin 15 community,” Deputy Nulty said.
When contacted by The Gazette in relation to the investigation, an ITB spokesperson said: “ITB are very disappointed to see that someone took the defibrillator which is a facility that is regularly used by the local community. Not only does it save lives but it can be quite dangerous if not used properly as it can stop a heart.”
If anyone has information about the missing equipment they are asked to contact the Blanchardstown Garda Station on 01-6667000.

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