What is an AED, and why are they vital in saving lives?

AED stands for‘ Automated External Defibrillator’, which is a device that detects lethal heart rhythms which stop the heart from pumping effectively, and then allows a rescuer to deliver a measured shock to a revert these rhythms, so the heart can pump effectively again.

  1. The only method available to revert lethal cardiac arrest rhythms is the use of a defibrillator e.g. AED.
  2. Statistically, for every minute lost without defibrillation, you lose 10% probability of saving a life (With good CPR you can extend this by several more minutes!)
  3. The ‘Average Ambulance Response Time in major metropolitan cities of Australia is approximately 16 minutes.
  4. If you apply a measured shock to a person’s heart, suffering a lethal rhythm within the first minute, they have a 70%chance of survival.

Are they safe to use?

Yes they are. The AED talks you through the process giving very simple directions on what to do and when.

Will I kill someone using a defibrillator?

No! AED’s will only deliver a shock to a heart if it detects a lethal rhythm via electrodes you stick to the person’s chest. These electrodes have sensors in them, and if they detect a normal heart rhythm they WILL NOT deliver a shock.

When do I use one?

You use a defibrillator when you need to undertake CPR, which is performed on an unconscious person who is not breathing normally e.g. regular, rhythmic breathing.

Carrum Bowling Club defibrillator saves cyclist’s life

When the Carrum Bowling Club bought a defibrillator two years ago, they thought it might help an ageing bowler succumbing to heat.

But a peninsula cyclist is a lucky beneficiary of the club’s foresight after suffering cardiac arrest in the right place at the right time.

“(We bought it) just because of the age of our members basically, our average age is about 70,” president Phil Kelly told Kate Stevenson and Peter Maher on 3AW Breakfast. “We’ve had quite a few people get affected by the heat.

“It brings home that there should be more of these around. “They would save more lives.”

Dom’s Doing Great!

Defib For Life have been following the progress of cyclist Dom from Waratah Masters CC who suffered a cardiac arrest while bike racing recently. Thanks to a cardiologist, a registered nurse, and a rider experienced with the defibrillator riding behind him and administering CPR almost immediately after falling, Dom survived.

Dom is now home with his family after having a pace maker fitted and is beginning to resume his life as normal.

His family are still amazed he is with them at all, thanks to  the brave rescuers for getting in and performing CPR whilst the AED was retrieved.

What a fantastic outcome.

Geelong’s Lara MP John Eren tells all: `I was dead for three minutes’

Victorian Sport Minister John Eren says there’s nothing like dying to bring you back down to earth with a thud.

He’s been there, dead for three minutes.

Perhaps all that brought him back was that his heart stopped in the waiting room at Geelong Hospital.

“I didn’t see it, I was dead,” he said of his dramatic resuscitation. Mr Eren, 52, collapsed after having experienced acute chest pain which prompted him to cut short a family Father’s Day trip to Melbourne.

“It was a bit excruciating, it was like a samurai warrior with a sword trying to get out of your chest and an elephant sitting on it preventing him,” he said. He had felt guilty going straight to the window in the busy emergency waiting room but felt life literally slipping away as he awaited assessment.

“It just felt so scary, you feel so vulnerable, you feel exposed,” Mr Eren said. “You feel like you’re a bystander and that you can’t do anything even though you know that there’s this struggle of life and death going on within you. And your reinforcements are the nurses and the doctors and the medications that you get to make you survive through this.”

A scan showed one of Mr Eren’s artereies was about 90% blocked.

Cardiologist calls for mandatory CPR training in schools

Professor Chris Semsarian is a cardiologist with a specific research focus in the genetic basis of cardiovascular disease.

A focus area of his research is in the investigation and prevention of sudden cardiac death in the young, particularly amongst children and young adults.

Here he calls for mandatory CPR Training in schools around Australia.



National Community Facilities Funding Scheme (NCFFS)

There has been some great work done in some Cricket Clubs to make sure their Clubs are safe places to go; raising funds was not a barrier – they found a way; below is one of the ways they achieved this.

The National Community Facilities Funding Scheme (NCFFS) has been established by Cricket Australia to support the ongoing development of community cricket facilities across Australia. Given the direct and enduring impact that facilities have on cricket participation, Cricket Australia has identified the need to work collaboratively with funding partners to increase investment.

In Victoria, the fund is open to all clubs, associations and regions across Australia that are affiliated with Cricket Victoria. The fund is also open to local councils working with their local cricket clubs and associations.

Applications close at 12 midnight on Sunday, October 30, 2016 and must be submitted via the online application form here.

Please read the guidelines carefully before applying. You can also view a sample application form for reference. Click here to download the declaration form.

Bulldogs fan recovering after grand final heart attack, says defibrillator saved his life

When Western Bulldogs supporter Rob McCarthy woke up after having a heart attack at the MCG on grand final day, he only wanted to know one thing.

“Did the Doggies win?” he asked. “That’s when I put my thumb up and everybody [in the crowd] started clapping and cheering. “They knew I’d survived so that was nice.”

Mr McCarthy, 64, was saved by off-duty paramedic Liam Moore who performed CPR.

“I knew that when I got there he still had a pulse, we still had a chance,” he said.

Someone got a defibrillator, which was installed in the MCG just for this reason, and shocked his heart into a normal rhythm.

He was taken to hospital where doctor’s performed life-saving surgery.

Fitness – Safety – Wellness

A variety of recent initiatives that are seeing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) installed in an increasing range of leisure settings has brought into focus the issue as to whether all fitness clubs in Australia and New Zealand should install lifesaving defibrillators.

In New Zealand, all of Auckland Council aquatic centres and each CityFitness gym is equipped with a defibrillator while in the USA, more than 10 states require that fitness facilities have at least one AED on-site, along with trained staff.

The need for defibrillators is all-too-often enforced when the life saving equipment is not available at a facility or event and someone dies as a result of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA, commonly known as a ‘heart attack’). Waiting for paramedics to arrive to attend to a heart-attack victim will dramatically reduce their 5% survival rate.

Australian Fitness Industry

Defib For Life is attending the Sports Medicine Australia Conference next week to promote the urgent need for sports clubs and fitness centres  to have a defibrillator on site.

The Australian Fitness Industry Risk Management (AFIRM), which is backed by research partners Fitness Australia and Sports Medicine Australia, highlights that

“being prepared for medical emergencies is crucial in reducing risk and potential liability” and that “there is both a professional and legal need to have medical emergency plans in place.”

These types  of medical emergencies include medical conditions which lead to cardiac arrest.

AFIRM add that “fitness business and professionals have a legal obligation to plan for and provide appropriate emergency care when these situations occur”.


The way of the future!

Delft University of Technology student Alec Momont graduated cum laude with a final grade of 10(!) on the Ambulance Drone he developed. A ten is not given often, but this was a unique project!

This compact flying toolbox contains essential supplies for (lay-person) advanced life support. Portability and foldability help the drone to be used anywhere.

The incorporation of a two-way, video supported, communication channel in the drone between 112 operators and the first respondents will greatly improve first care.

In short, the Ambulance Drone helps to save lives by extending existing emergency infrastructure with a network of fast and compact UAVs capable of bringing emergency supplies and establishing communication, anywhere.

Is this the way of the future?