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Defibrillators wanted at all sports clubs

Wyndham SaveQuick thinking: Kylie Buckingham and Silva Warhurst helped save the life of sports club patron Vaid Bella (centre). Picture: Cathy Jackson

STAFF who saved a 77-year-old man’s life at the Hoppers Crossing Sports Club say the close call goes to show the importance of having defibrillators in public places.

Three staff members at the Hogans Reserve venue were recognised by Ambulance Victoria at an award ceremony last Friday for their quick thinking that saved the life of Vaid Bella, who suffered a heart attack and collapsed at the venue on May 3.

One staff member rang triple-0, while off-duty nurse Kylie Buckingham and Silva Warhurst began conducting compressions and performing mouth-to-mouth as general manager George Csifo rushed for the defibrillator.

“We were very thankful we had the defibrillator there,” Mr Csifo said.

“The feedback from the paramedics was that it saved his life.”

Portable defibrillator units use step-by-step voice prompts to tell operators how to give cardiopulmonary resuscitation.  The units determine the required rate, automatically diagnose the patient’s condition and, if necessary, deliver an electric charge to shock the heart back to its normal rhythm. Staff managed to restart Mr Bella’s heart before paramedics arrived and transported him to hospital where he made a complete recovery.

‘‘This was an outstanding team effort, with everyone involved keeping calm under extreme pressure,” paramedic Lauren Burns said.

“Their quick thinking and training in CPR and use of the [defibrillator] resulted in a man’s life being saved.’’

Club staff were reunited with Mr Bella when they were presented with the commendation award last Friday.

Mr Csifo said the device was “fool-proof” and all sports clubs should have one. Hoppers Crossing Sports Club has one defibrillator in its commercial area and another at its new sports pavilion.

Andrew White, founder of the Defib Your Club for Life program, said defibrillators saved lives.

“Research tells us that the cardiac arrest survival rate is 85 per cent if automatic defibrillators are readily available ... compared to a 7-10 per cent chance where the life-saving equipment is not accessible.”

Story by: Nick Toscano, July 24, 2013.
Reproduced from Wyndham Weekly.

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