DO YOU KNOW HOW TO RESTART A HEART?

NGAIRE JONES |

Every year, cardiac arrest kills more New Zealanders than road accidents, a statistic everyone can change.

Death from cardiac arrest is our silent toll. It can happen to people of any age at any time, but the chance of survival can be greatly improved with bystander CPR and use of an AED (automated external defibrillator).

Wednesday 16 October is International Restart a Heart Day (RAHD) and St John, in partnership with Wellington Free Ambulance, Fire and Emergency NZ and the NZ Resuscitation Council are joining together to teach everyone how to save a life.

St John Medical Director Dr Tony Smith says that every minute that goes by without CPR or defibrillation reduces the chance of survival by 10-15 percent, with only 15% surviving a cardiac arrest.

“This survival rate can be doubled by people taking three easy steps: call 111 for an ambulance, immediately start CPR and find and use the nearest AED.”

“Using an AED is simpler than using a mobile phone. Anyone can do it, just turn it on and follow the voice instructions,” Dr Smith says.

St John Head of Clinical Audit and Research Professor Bridget Dicker says having access to AEDs or ‘heart starters’ in the community is critical.

“Our clinical research tells us we need more AEDs in remote and socio-economically deprived communities.”

“Think about where to place the AEDs and make fundraising for them a community event.”

Training events with competitions and prizes are being held throughout the country today including Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown airports so come along and join in. St John and the RAHD partners want everyone to get involved so why not set up your own local event? Visit Restart a Heart to find out more.

 

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