26 September 2023

Canberrans called to save others’ lives

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The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) is calling on Canberrans to help save lives by brushing up on their emergency skills.

ACT ESA Commissioner Georgeina Whelan said that every year, around 30,000 Australians and New Zealanders experienced an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

“Time is a critical factor for survival, with only one in 10 people surviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrests,” Commissioner Whelan said.

“For every minute that passes without intervention, the chance of survival decreases by 10 percent,” she said.

“Knowing how to respond to an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest could mean the difference between life and death.”

Commissioner Whelan said a cardiac arrest could happen to anyone, from a two-year-old child to a retiree.

She said 80 per cent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happened in the home, “this means the likelihood of you needing to help save a loved one is a reality”.

“Having a bystander or family member willing and confident to start CPR could mean the difference between life and death,”

ACT Ambulance Service Chief Officer Howard Wren said understanding how to ‘Call.Push.Shock’ was a vital life skill and one many Australians should refresh annually.

“A cardiac arrest can happen suddenly with minimal and varying symptoms,” Chief Officer Wren said.

“The patient can lose consciousness, display ineffective breathing, and have no pulse,” he said.

“This can be terrifying for many bystanders, but your quick response will greatly improve their chances of survival.”

Chief Officer Wren reminded Canberrans to call Triple Zero (000) immediately if they witnessed someone having a cardiac arrest, start chest compressions as soon as possible – aiming for a rate of two compressions per second – and send someone else to collect an AED machine if there was one nearby.

Further information on how to ‘Call.Push.Shock’ can be accessed at this PS News link.

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