It’s Shocktober! Time to be shocked by just how much of a problem cardiac arrest is in our world. But also time to learn what you can do about it.
Perhaps the most shocking fact about cardiac arrest, is how prevalent it is. Every day in Victoria 19 people suffer a cardiac arrest. But what happens next is even more shocking - only 1 in 10 will survive!
Yes that’s right, only 1 in 10 Victorians will survive their cardiac arrest. Nationally, between 22,000 and 33,000 people die annually from Sudden Cardiac Arrest, making it one of the leading causes of death.
The biggest concern about cardiac arrest is how sudden and unexpected it can be. Many people report no prior symptoms at all and many fit, active people, with no known medical conditions can suffer from a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).
Greg Page from the Wiggles is one such high profile person. He had no medical history of heart problems and was a fit and active person who performed very energetic routines on stage for decades. His SCA made national headlines and led him to become a leading spokesperson for CPR training and greater community access to Defibrillators.
Greg was lucky as people around him immediately started applying CPR and a defibrillator was brought in and used within the first 10 minutes. This is vital because without immediate treatment, most cardiac arrest victims will die within a few minutes.
CPR helps enormously to reduce the risk of dying. But using a defibrillator is even better. When both are performed on a patient, instead of that person suffering a 90% chance of dying, they have a 50% chance of living!
The problem is that when someone has a sudden cardiac arrest the chance of them being given life-saving CPR from a friend, family member or bystander is only around 30%. And the chance of a defibrillator being used on them, is only around 2%. (This can often be because there is no defibrillator close by or the person does not know where it is. Even if there is a defibrillator available, people are unsure of using them, unless they are trained.)
If you think the death rate from Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Victoria is too high, there is something you can do about it. Firstly, if you are around someone who suffers an SCA, please make some sort of attempt to help them. ANY attempt at resuscitation is better than none, so please give it a go. Even if you only do CPR half-right it still helps and will generally do no harm.
But of course, the best thing you can do this Shocktober is get trained in CPR and First Aid (that includes training on a defibrillator) at www.resultsfirstaid.com