Show you care about cardiac arrest survival this Shoctober

Do you know where your closest Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is located and how to use it to save someone’s life?

AEDs provide automated heart rhythm analysis, voice commands, and deliver a shock. When the heart stops beating, an AED can shock the heart back to normal rhythm.

October is nationally recognised as Defibrillator Awareness Month. This Shoctober community members are being urged to familiarise themselves with the locations of AEDs and learn the fundamentals of cardiac arrest survival.

Timboon Ambulance team leader Chris Stewart said there were nearly 20 public access defibrillators in the southern part of Corangamite Shire.

“We want people to understand that if they can access a defibrillator quickly they can save the life of someone in cardiac arrest,” he said.

“If you find someone unconscious and not breathing properly and you put a defibrillator on them immediately they will have a high chance of survival.

“But, their chance of recovery decreases by nearly 10 per cent per minute of delay, so the response time is really, really critical.”

Mr Stewart, who is also a Board member at TDHS, said defibrillators were at many sporting clubs and facilities including, but not limited to, the local recreation reserve, golf club, bowls club, hall, stadium, post office and Parkrun.

“We had a 48 year-old male patient at one of the local gas plants who wouldn’t be here today without his quick-thinking workmates and an accessible defibrillator,” he said.

“He had a cardiac arrest at work, they grabbed their defibrillator, he was shocked five times before we got there, and they did good CPR as well.

“When we arrived, we deployed a defibrillator again, got his heart started and 45 minutes later we put him in a helicopter alert and able to talk to us.

“He was flown to Melbourne for emergency surgery to repair his heart, he was discharged a week later, and he returned home to his young family neurologically intact.”

Mr Stewart urged community groups to register their AEDs with Ambulance Victoria so that they could be used quickly and efficiently when needed – especially when people used the GoodSAM responder app to find local help for someone in cardiac arrest.

“If a cardiac arrest happens and someone uses the GoodSAM app, it pops up in our system at Ambulance Victoria and we know where the closest registered AED is,” he said.

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