Happy Easter

Wishing everyone a very Happy Easter. The Defib For Life team hope everyone has a lovely Easter long weekend with family, friends and too much chocolate and hot cross buns.

Ambulance Victoria searches for 15,000 ‘hidden’ defibrillators

Ambulance Victoria is urging local clubs, schools and other organisations to register their defibrillator machines. It’s quick and it’s easy and it will help save lives. Read how Ambulance Victoria is searching for 15,000 “hidden” defibrillators in Victoria.

VICTORIANS could help save a life at the click of a button under a new campaign from Ambulance Victoria.

Up to 15,000 defibrillators are believed to be “hidden” in private buildings across the state, but authorities had no way to track them, until now. Homeowners, businesses and schools are being urged to register their defibrillators online to create a map of the state’s hidden devices. New smartphone technology will give the public and emergency services access to the map.

Heart attack patients are far more likely to live if a defibrillator is used in the minutes following cardiac arrest. Heart attack patients have a 62 per cent greater chance of survival if a defibrillator is used before an ambulance arrives.

Ambulance Victoria chief executive Associate Professor Tony Walker said the campaign would save lives.

“In locations like corporate offices, gyms and bowls clubs across the state, for every lifesaving defibrillator in the community we know about, there are four we don’t,” he said.

“Imagine what the map of Victoria might look like if every defibrillator in the area was registered and could be connected with someone in a life-threatening situation — your defibrillator could be the one that saves a life.”

Angelo from Canberra

Several years ago, Angelo from Canberra saw a man collapse while he was out walking with a friend. Quickly realising something was wrong; he alerted staff at a nearby club who called an ambulance. The man died and Angelo believes the outcome could’ve been different if CPR had been administered and a defibrillator was available.

It made him wonder about the availability of defibrillators across the city.

He reached out to find out more, asking:

“How is the location advertised? Are licensed clubs, hotels, cinemas and other venues of high patronage mandated to carry a defibrillator?”

Tracking down the exact location of some of the city’s defibrillators was tricky – here’s what he found out:

Finding defibrillators

  • It’s difficult to determine the exact number and location of AEDs as registering them is optional.
  • The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) are looking at building a map that captures all AEDs, regardless of where they’re bought.
  • Finding a defibrillator in an emergency is easier if you know what to look for. Most of the time they will be in places where people can see them and where people gather, such as swimming pools, food courts, and staffed locations such as a concierge or security desk.
  • There is no mandatory legislation requiring workplaces or venues to have an AED. What is required is first aid equipment, and someone who is trained to administer it. In addition to this, the Work Health and Safety (First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice) 2015 advises that an AED is useful but leaves it up to business owners to decide whether to purchase and install one.

A pledge

The Canberra Liberals believe there should be more publicly available defibrillators, and pledged to fund 24 new AEDs as part of their 2016 election campaign. Alistair Coe, ACT Opposition Leader, says the proposal still stands.

“We think there is a need for an information campaign to let people know that the defibrillators are accessible, and that there should be more of them around town,” he said. “24 [new defibrillators] should just be the beginning, and I hope that the government takes it on board and rolls out many more,” he said.

While Angelo was appreciative of the answers that were found, he’s still hoping that more can be done. “Someone’s got to be accountable… for what is available for a life or death situation,” he said.

Who asked the question?

Angelo has lived in Canberra since 1964 and thinks the city is still one the nation’s best kept secrets, with its city and county lifestyle. He enjoys walking his kelpie and attending sheepdog training classes in Bungendore.

Ambulance response times improve across the Geelong region

AMBULANCE response times have been slashed across the Geelong, Queenscliffe and Surf Coast municipalities, new performance data has revealed. Ambulance Victoria first response performance data for the April 1 to June 30 shows paramedics are responding to code one emergencies faster than ever.

Of 3110 code one responses in the City of Greater Geelong during the quarter, 82.2 per cent were completed in less than 15 minutes, with an average response time of 11 minutes 36 seconds. That result was one minute and 8 seconds faster than the July 1 2016 to September 2016 average, when 76.6 per cent of respondents arrived in less than 15 minutes.

(Nicholas Payne, Geelong Advertiser – August 1, 2017 9:13am)

This is good news for people who may suffer from a Sudden Cardiac Arrest, because when a Sudden Cardiac Arrest occurs and it is not treated in minutes, it usually causes death.

The data will tell you that of the 30,000 out-of-hospital SCAs that happen each year, 85% of victims die. It doesn’t discriminate – it’s not your age, it’s not your fitness level, and it’s not your background. It can happen to anyone and it happens suddenly – often without warning.

It’s a topic we don’t want to talk about – but we should because it can happen at any time. The good news is Sudden Cardiac Arrest can be arrested and the best chance of survival is to follow the chain of survival:

  • Recognise that the victim is suffering a Sudden Cardiac Arrest
  • Call 000 immediately
  • Perform CPR
  • Apply a defibrillator as soon as practical
  • Paramedics provide advanced medical care on arrival at the scene
  • Transport patient to hospital