First Aid Awareness and Knowing Where The Defibrillator Is

A defibrillator being used in training.


DO you know what to do if someone has a heart attack?

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a leading cause of death in Australia.

Every year, around 25,000 people experience a Sudden Cardiac Arrest out of hospital, with a current survival rate of 5%.

St John Ambulance NSW is promoting the importance of defibrillators in the hope that one day, every workplace in Australia will be equipped with the life-saving device.

This week there is an awareness campaign promoting safety in the workplace.

If a defibrillator is used within the first 2-3 minutes of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest, the chance of survival increases to 70%.

St John Ambulance NSW advocates for defibrillators to be considered a critical item in every workplace, and encourages people to ensure their defibrillators are in working order.

Sadly, Australian workers have not yet realised the importance of having a defibrillator in the workplace with a recent survey from St John Ambulance Australia uncovered some shocking statistics, with only 8% of Australians deemed a defibrillator the most important item to have in the workplace; paper and pens climbed higher on the list.

More alarming is that one third of Australians don’t know what a Sudden Cardiac Arrest is and 78% of Australians don’t think people under 45 years old can experience a Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

61% of Australians claim their office either doesn’t have a defibrillator or they don’t know where it’s kept, and a further 58% of Australians say they wouldn’t feel confident using a defibrillator, with reasons being that they haven’t had training in first aid (54%), they find it too complicated to use (24%) and they worry they might hurt the person (22%).

Sarah Lance, CEO of St John Ambulance NSW said, “We know that quick bystander intervention can improve cardiac arrest survival rates.

“Defibrillators should be considered a necessity in any workplace so that in the event of an emergency staff can act quickly and with confidence.

“Defibrillators are simple and designed so that anyone can use them – even if you never have before.

“The key is for them to be accessible, checked regularly, and used when needed,” she said.

First Aid training is easily accessible and is mandatory for some professions.

Giacomo Arnott, Acting Captain Raymond Terrace Fire & Rescue told News Of The Area, “When someone is injured, being able to assist them in a timely manner is very important.

“All Fire & Rescue NSW Firefighters have first aid training and are always ready to assist anyone who needs help.
“We work closely with NSW Ambulance.

“It always helps them when they arrive, if someone has been able to take initial steps to treat someone’s injuries.

“We encourage members of the community to get out there and undertake first aid training.

“It will definitely help emergency services when they arrive to help somebody, and it could save somebody’s life,” he said.

Some Council sport venues now have defibrillators available on site.

“It means people in cardiac arrest are getting life saving shocks quicker than ever before.

“I encourage people to know where the closest one is at all times if possible,” said Arnott.



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