More Victorians Saving Lives with CPR

Almost two-thirds of Victorians say they will perform CPR if they see someone in cardiac arrest, a good Samaritan intervention which doubles a victim’s chances of survival.

Some 64 per cent of onlookers attempted CPR when they witnessed someone collapsed from cardiac arrest during the past financial year, according to the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry annual report released on Friday.

That’s up from 35 per cent in 2005/06.

More people also know how to use portable defibrillators than a decade ago, which has further improved the likelihood of a person surviving.

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Adelaide to Trial Defibrillators in Public Buildings in Bid to Save Lives

Emergency Defibrillators are to be installed in public buildings in Adelaide’s city centre in a 12-month trial.

What is a defibrillator?

  • A defibrillator is an electrical device that delivers a shock to the heart.
  • The aim of the shock to the heart muscle is to re-establish the heart’s rhythm and regularly beat.

How does it work?

  • Pads from the defibrillator are placed on the patient’s chest and a built-in computer checks the victim’s heart rhythm.
  • The device determines whether a shock is needed.
  • Most devices have an automated voice to tell the rescuer the next step, for example stand clear and press the device’s shock button.

The council voted to buy defibrillators to be installed in buildings which it owns.

Councillor Phil Martin said the portable defibrillators could easily be operated in a cardiac emergency by a person with no medical training.

He said the trial would also determine how many defibrillators were already available in private businesses in the CBD.

“We want to encourage people who already have defibrillators to remove them from the back rooms and put them in the foyers of their buildings so that we can map throughout Adelaide the locations of public defibrillators that people can access to save a life,” he said.

He said Tasmania had about 400 defibrillators in public places, while it was common practice throughout the rest of the world.

Cr Martin said the trial would be used to gauge if people would use them, the best places to have them and if they were at risk of being vandalised.

He said an ideal place to install one would be in Rundle Mall.


Park City’s new defibrillators may have already saved a life

PARK CITY, Utah — One of four automatic emergency defibrillators (AEDs) installed last summer in Park City may have already saved a man’s life, and it happened during the Sundance Film Festival.

Trevor Christensen was standing 30 feet away when a man collapsed on a sidewalk in the city.

“I ran over there and then let him know I used to be paramedic,” Christensen said.

As Christensen began doing chest compressions on the victim, other bystanders also took action. One called 911 and another ran to find an AED.  As it turns out, the life-saving device happened to have been installed right across the street.

“The AED being right there across the street at the time he went down was just amazing,” Christensen said.

Christensen used the AED to deliver a shock, then continued with chest compressions. About 20 seconds later, he said, the victim responded.

“He actually looked at me and extended his hand up and said ‘Thank you,’ which was wild,” Christensen recalled.

Sgt. Jay Randall, Park City Police Department, credits Christensen and the user-friendly AEDs with saving the man’s life.

“It was a great, great testament not only to the technology, but the people that have the confidence in the technology to go find it and use it,” Randall said.

Christensen stressed that AED devices are not just for people with medical emergency training.

“They make them easy to operate. All you have to do is literally just unzip it or open it up and it tells you what to do,” Christensen said.

Park City police say heart attack calls are fairly common in the city, as the high altitude exacerbates heart and breathing problems.