The wonders of modern technology

The wonders of modern technology mean that serious medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest can be treated on the spot. All you need is an automated external defibrillator close at hand, and lives can be saved.

But like all great inventions, the defibrillator did not arrive overnight. In fact, it took centuries to realise the lifesaving potential of electricity, how to apply it, and to develop the device we know today.

In essence AEDs are portable electronic machines that can automatically diagnose irregular heart beats and treat it though electrical therapy. It’s much more effective than CPR, which really just sustains life before a defibrillator can be found.

The History of the Defibrillator: A Timeline

1775 – Experiments on chickens by Danish physician Peter Christian Abilgaard reveal hearts could be stopped and then restarted by electricity.
1850 – German physician Carl Ludwig documents electrically stimulated ventricular fibrillation in dogs.
1888 – British physiologists John A Mac William suggests ventricular fibrillation might be the cause of sudden death.
1899 – Swiss physiologists JL Prevost and F Batelli confirm strong voltages applied directly to the heart could restart dogs hearts.
1928 – US Electrical Engineer William Bennett Kouwenhoven began developing defibrillators.
1933 – Kouwenhoven, with US physiologist Orthello Langworthy, demonstrate internally applied electrical current reverses ventricular fibrillation
1947 – US surgeon Claude S Beck is the first to save a human life through defibrillation, restoring his 14-year-old patient’s heart beat during a surgical procedure.
1956 – Kouwenhoven develops external defibrillators but during his experiments discovers and develops CPR. Harvard cardiologist Paul M Zoll demonstrates the first closed chest (external) defibrillation.
1960 – Portable DC-powered defibrillators are developed by Harvard’s Bernard Lown and University of Washington’s K William Edmark, allowing treatment outside hospitals for the first time.
1966 – In N Ireland, cardiologists J Frank Pantridge and John S Geddes are the first to install portable external defibrillators in an ambulance, creating the first Mobile Intensive Care Unit.
1969 – The first non-medical personnel qualified to operate a defibrillator (Emergency Medical Technicians) are hired in Portland, Oregon
1978 – the first Automated External Defibrillator is introduced, comprising sensors to detect in ventricular fibrillation. Crucially, the instructions are electronically provided, reducing the degree of training required to operate them.
1980s – Computer technology enhances AED sensitivity, helping to save even more lives.
2000s – Workplace Health and Safety standards introduced around the world highlight workplace automated external defibrillators as essential.

Defib For Life Fundraising Kit

Who has downloaded the Defib For Life Fundraising Kit? It’s full of great ideas, tips and tricks.

But did you know that if you’re planning an event to raise funds for the installation of a defibrillator we can help promote your event?

Yep that’s right, whether your event has already happened or you have one coming up, tell us about it and we’ll tell everyone else about it. We’re here to help you raise the funds in order to create a safer place for your community.

 

#defibforlife #fundraising #share

Does your workplace have a defibrillator?

Does your workplace have a defibrillator? 

Ensure your workplace meets its duty of care to look after you and your colleagues by including a defibrillator in your workplace first aid kit.

Defib For Life has provided support to many organisations around the country, so let up help you too.

Take away the risk; it’s shockingly easy to restart a heart!

Have you checked your defibrillator?

Servicing your defibrillator is just as important as servicing your car – safety is number one, failure is not an option.

Make sure you check that the pads are in date. Are the batteries charged? Is it working?

Defib for Life offers the choice of two leading Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) so you know you’re getting the best quality safety equipment.

Our packages include an extended warranty, and replacement pads and electrodes.

Don’t wait til it’s too late – check your equipment now.

Need help? Talk to Sue on 13400 880 309.

How to use an AED

Everyone has a spare 5 minutes somewhere in their day. Whilst you are on your lunch break, making a cup of tea or waiting for the kids to get out of school, take just 5 minutes to watch this. A great demonstration of how easy it is to use a defibrillator.

The unit featured is a Cardiac Science unit, you can purchase these through Defib For Life. Look over the features to see why this one of the leading defibrillators on the market today.

The 5 minutes you spend now may save a life in the future. It’s Shockingly easy to restart a heart.

 

Welcome to Shocktober

October is Defibrillator awareness month.

Let’s get out there, in the community, in schools, workplaces and sporting clubs. Let’s have the conversation about Sudden Cardiac Arrest and how “Shockingly Easy” it is to save more Australian lives.

Defib For Life can support you with the best defibrillator packages on the market, sudden cardiac information, even funding opportunities.

 

WORLD HEART DAY

This Saturday 29th September is World Heart Day. It’s all about looking after your heart!

This is a global campaign during which individuals, families, communities and governments around the world participate in activities to take charge of their heart health and that of others.

Does your community have anything planned to raise awareness of heart health?

Do you have any ideas of how you can raise awareness of heart health in your community and circle of friends and family?

Why not promise to cook and eat more healthily, to do more exercise and encourage your children to be more active, to say no to smoking or help your loved ones to stop.

Another way is to check if your local community has access to a life saving defibrillator and if not ask why not.

Immediate access to a defibrillator is the only way to survive a Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

At Defib For Life, our mission is to get defibrillators installed in every sporting club, sporting complex, health club, community facility, school, corporate office, government building, and industrial facility.

With over 33,000 people experiencing an out-of-hospital Sudden Cardiac Arrest every year in Australia, of all ages and fitness levels, we believe defibrillators are essential to Australia’s heart health!

Advocating for legislative change

At Defib For Life, we continue our advocacy work within community, local, state and federal governments to ensure that sooner rather than later legislative change will occur and ultimately there will be lifesaving defibrillators in every sporting club, school, workplace and public venue across Australia!

We recently sent letters to all State Parliamentarians requesting a meeting to discuss how Defib For Life would be ready to get to work with them to keep making a difference.

Defib For Life works within our communities every day to continue to advocate, educate and distribute these life saving defibrillators, to make our communities safe places to live….but we need the support of our members of parliament to create that change in legislation.

Do you know who your local member of parliament is? If so, write to them, call them up and send them an email. Its going to take many voices, so pick up the phone and join in the conversation to create change.

We have had some encouraging response from some ministers and we look forward to more. With the conversations we have had booked, we will keep you in the loop and let you know how we go.

Let us know how you went when you contacted your local Member of Parliament, we would love to hear from you.

Stay tuned!

Falls Creek Ski Patrol were rescue ready

Every time we hear of a save the team at Defib for Life are thrilled to hear of it as it means a family member, team mate, or best friend is still here, and now has the capacity to go on living their life because there was a defibrillator nearby.

During the recent Kangaroo Hoppet, an international cross-country ski race held at Falls Creek, a participant suffered a cardiac arrest. This occurred in a remote environment and approximately 5 kilometres from Falls Creek ski resort on the Bogong High Plains.

Early CPR was commenced by another competitor who skied upon the unconscious casualty.  Falls Creek ski patrol responded to the subsequent call out quickly and applied the Cardiac Science G3 A.E.D. The patient regained consciousness and responsiveness.  This occurred within 9 minutes of the initial distress call going out and prior to the arrival of the doctor and paramedics. According to the Falls Creek Ski Patrol team, the early administration of the AED was critical to the successful resuscitation and recovery of the patient.

Falls Creek’s Ski Patrol are the first people on the slopes each morning and the last off the hill at the end of the day. It’s their job to monitor mountain safety and ensure everyone’s alpine experience is as safe as possible.

All Falls Creek Ski Patrollers are trained professionals and are qualified to deal with any emergency that may arise. In this case, their training and the early application of the defibrillator ensured the survival of this skier.

Look out for Falls Creek’s Ski Patrollers in their distinctive red and white jackets as you make your way around the ski fields. They are never far away, and neither is the skiing community’s access to a defibrillator.

Is your community rescue ready?

Did you know modern CPR is only 58 years old?

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) was invented in 1960 and soon went global. It is still the primary first aid method for resuscitation. At Defib For Life we want every Australian to know how to do CPR and use an AED in a health emergency.

Cardiac arrest can occur without warning. It is triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). This malfunction can stop the heart from pumping blood around the body.

Performing CPR is extremely important in this situation by enabling blood to continue pumping to vital organs, such as the brain, before an ambulance arrives.

The chain of survival

The chain of survival is just a serious of steps (forming a virtual “chain”) which give the best chance of survival from a sudden (SCA). If all the steps of the chain are followed promptly, then the victim has the best chance of surviving the cardiac arrest.

Early recognition and call for help

Early contact should be made to the emergency services after a cardiac arrest is recognised.

Early CPR

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should be commenced immediately after a cardiac arrest has occurred (ie, the patient has stopped breathing). Anyone can perform CPR, and ideally there should be no interruption in CPR before the ambulance arrives.

Early defibrillation followed by Advanced Life Support

A defibrillator is an electrical device which delivers a shock to the heart in an attempt to correct any abnormal electrical activity which has caused the cardiac arrest.

The good news is Sudden Cardiac Arrest can be arrested and the best chance of survival is to follow the chain of survival.