Compressions prove crucial

October 24, 2017

Ambulance Community Officer Adam Diblasio runs Ben Halden through basic CPR.

Jen Johansen, Ben Johansen, Lou Wereszczuk and Danielle Saxton run a workshop on CPR and the use of a AED defibrillator in Tatura.

Would you know what to do if somebody suffered a heart attack in front of you?

Close to 150 people brushed up on their cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR skills in Tatura, where Ambulance Victoria and the Heart Foundation partnered to run workshops for National Restart The Heart Day on Monday.

Paramedics and ambulance community officers also showed people how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), which can double the chances of survival.

Tatura paramedic Ben Johansen said only one in 10 people survived a cardiac arrest and their message was for every minute CPR was delayed there was a decrease in the person’s chance of survival.

‘‘What we know is that for every minute compressions on the chest do not start there is a 10 per cent decrease in survival chances, so doing something is better than nothing,’’ Mr Johansen said.

‘‘We are in a country area, so it may take a couple of minutes for paramedics to get to the scene, so the more people who know what to do during an emergency the better the survival rate.

‘‘We were finding people were hesitant to start CPR because of mouth-to-mouth, so we have done away with it and just instruct people to do compressions, because that’s what will save someone’s life.

‘‘It’s about keeping it simple, you should always call triple zero first because they can talk you through what to do.

‘‘A high percentage of cardiac arrests happen at home, so you could be the first one on scene.’’

Mr Johansen said survival rates in areas such as Melbourne Airport were up to 88 per cent because of close access to AEDs and first aid-trained people, so there was no reason why communities such as Tatura could not improve their survival rate.

Mr Johansen also encouraged people and businesses to register their on-site AED with Ambulance Victoria, so the public could access them in an emergency.

‘‘Ambulance Victoria will cover the costs of replacing AEDs if they are used by the public,’’ Mr Johansen said.

■You can register your AED or find one in the community at https://registermyaed.

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