Cardiac arrest is a silent, sudden and indiscriminate killer and you’d think that no one would know this better than a paramedic. However it took the death of a young football player from his son’s club for this and the importance of early defibrillation to hit home with Ambulance Victoria, Gisborne, Team Manager Andrew White.
A COUNTRY footy legend died on the field but lived to tell the tale thanks to a quick-thinking nurse who happened to be on the sidelines.
Hall of Famer John “Shorty’’ Martiniello was clinically dead after suffering a heart attack while umpiring a Goulburn Valley match between Rochester and Benalla on Saturday.
But in an incredible stoke of good fortune, the Rochester Football Club had a lifesaving defibrillator and a have-a-go-hero on stand-by.
PUBLICLY available defibrillators have saved an average of one life every six weeks over the past decade.
New Ambulance Victoria research found their use by bystanders boosts survival odds.
In evaluating use of defibrillators available in almost 100 locations state-wide, including at Melbourne Zoo, Federation Square and Melbourne Airport, AV found most people having a heart attack in a public place in 2002-13 got their initial shock treatment from emergency services.
It was a standard afternoon for Rob Comley playing his beloved pennant tennis when a sudden cardiac arrest saw him collapse at Blue Gum Park Tennis Club, Brentwood on 16 March 2014. Fellow tennis players, Steph MacDonald a theatre nurse and Doctor Tom Lane were on an adjoining court when they saw Rob collapse and rushed to his aid to find him grey, flat lining and with no pulse or respirations.
Recognising it was a life or death situation for Mr Comley, Ms McDonald and Doctor Lane were alerted to the fact that Blue Gum Park Tennis Club had a defibrillator onsite which had earlier been recommended by and purchased through Defib for Life (DFL). With the knowledge of how to use the equipment, they immediately called for the machine and commenced defibrillation.