Crouch End dentist wants ‘to save a life in N8’ with CPR and defibrillator first aid training

Dr Laith Abbas. Picture: Sam Volpe

Dr Laith Abbas. Picture: Sam Volpe - Credit: Archant

After a family friend had a heart attack on holiday and died, a Crouch End dentist was inspired to raise awareness of the importance of defibrillators in the community.

Crouch Hall Dental Surgery in Crouch Hall Road. Picture: Sam Volpe

Crouch Hall Dental Surgery in Crouch Hall Road. Picture: Sam Volpe - Credit: Archant

Dr Laith Abbas, who co-owns the Crouch Hall Dental Surgery in Crouch Hall Road, wants to publicise the life-saving kit at the practice if emergency arises - and he's also going to run free CPR lessons later this year.

Laith, 32, is campaigning for wider public access to, and understanding of, defibrillators.

"My friend was actually abroad, in a gym," he said. "If it had been in the UK, he may well still be here."

Laith is keen to make sure his community is as well prepared for serious cardiac incidents as possible.

He said: "If you have a heart attack or cardiac arrest and it's not treated within five minutes the success rate is 6 per cent.

"If you are treated, that rate goes way up - 75pc.

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"It made me think about who would be comfortable using a defibrillator or giving CPR."

Laith explained that he had been shocked to see that defibrillators were not standard in supermarkets and on high streets.

He told the Ham&High: "The whole point is to raise awareness. I think all businesses, supermarkets, should have them on site."

Boosting CPR knowledge is also key, he said: "We'll hold the first CPR class in the next month or so and we'll hope to have three a year, all free.

"The idea will be people tell their partners, family about what they learn and we end up with a community more confident about it."

He explained no-one should worry about using a defibrillator if it came to it.

"As long as you ring 999 and follow instructions, it is very simple," he said.

"I'm confident that this will save a life."

Crouch Hall Dental is one of N8's longest surviving institutions. It was first opened in 1917 and continues to accept NHS patients.

This year, Laith has also made a point of trying to improve the sustainability of oral hygiene and dentistry.

He is planning to double the size of the practice, and to discuss with regulators "if there are alternatives to the ridiculous amount of single use plastics that we are forced to use".