Tesco accused of ‘stopping people taking defibrillator’ as man died outside
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An elderly man died outside a Tesco Extra store after staff allegedly told frantic customers a life-saving defibrillator was "not for public use."
Security outside of a Tesco supermarket in Gillingham, Kent, have been accused of "stopping people using" a defibrillator after a man collapsed with a suspected heart attack.
One member of the public, Samantha Badger, said she called 999 and was instructed to get a piece of medical equipment from inside the store.
She desperately tried to perform CPR on the man, who was also her neighbour, as another Good Samaritan ran to grab the device before paramedics arrived.
A staff member inside the store allegedly refused to give the device to the individual and later called Kent police to report an "attempted theft".
Despite Samantha's heroic efforts, the man, who was in his 90s, was pronounced dead shortly after medical staff arrived at the scene.
Heartbroken Samantha posted about the incident on Facebook and said she is "absolutely disgusted" with Gillingham Tesco.
She said she didn't have to "envisage having to perform CPR on my next door neighbour" but added that the situation was made worse by staff at the store.
In a post, Samantha wrote: "I carried on 1,2,3 1,2,3 1,2,3 and so on whilst the SGN employee ran over to Tesco to grab the defibrillator that the 999 emergency services stated was there for us to use.
"Heartbreakingly, the patient had passed away and defibrillator never did turn up because as the workman ran into Tesco and collected it as he was running out of the shop with it, the security guard stopped him and told him that it wasn't for public use!
"The distraught man was so upset and explained that the 999 emergency services said to come and get it whilst a lady (me) was performing CPR on a suspected heart attack patient, but they wouldn't let him leave the store with it.
"This may have saved this gentleman's life, but instead the poor chap and myself fighting desperately to save his life, whilst being denied emergency equipment, meant he sadly didn't make it!"
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In a statement, a Tesco spokesperson told The Sun: "We’re incredibly sorry to hear about this and are shocked to hear the reported circumstances.
"It wouldn’t be appropriate for us to comment further while we are investigating these reports.
"We have 2,600 defibrillators in stores across the country which are available for anyone to use and we are reminding colleagues of this."
Daily Star Online has approached Tesco for comment.
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