Collapse at work led to health boost at Wakefield firm

Carol Clarke
Carol Clarke
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A WOMAN who suffered a suspected heart attack at work in Wakefield has welcomed her employer’s decision to invest in potentially life-saving equipment.

Carol Clarke, 51, was rushed to hospital after she collapsed after clocking on for work as a kitchen supervisor at fashion retailer Bonmarche’s head office in Wakefield last May.

Now Bonmarche, which employs 400 people in Wakefield, has bought an automated external defibrillator (AED) – a portable electronic machine which shocks the heart to restart it after a cardiac arrest.

The company’s St John Ambulance trained first aiders were on hand to treat Miss Clarke before the ambulance arrived following her collapse last May.

She said: “I felt hot and clammy and my heart was racing. I was also experiencing pain down my lower left side and in my chest. I was struggling to breathe and thought I was having a heart attack.”

An ambulance took Miss Clarke to Pinderfields Hospital at Wakefield where she underwent tests.

The incident prompted management at Bonmarche to buy an AED from St John Ambulance protect staff in the event of anyone suffering a heart attack on site.

Staff have also received training from St John Ambulance in how to use the equipment.

Miss Clarke added: “Thankfully I didn’t have a heart attack, but I am delighted it raised awareness of the need for life saving equipment and prompted my employer to buy an AED in the event of anyone suffering a cardiac arrest.”

Jason Dickinson of Bonmarche said: “We’ve always taken first aid seriously and St John Ambulance has trained 10 of our first aiders and we are looking to increase this to 18 in the next six months.”

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