In a first of its kind St John is hosting an event to celebrate survivors of cardiac arrest.
St John is bringing around 30 people together to share their experiences, meet the paramedics and members of the public who treated them, and celebrate their remarkable resilience.
This inaugural ‘Celebrate Life’ event provides an opportunity to acknowledge the incredible work of bystanders, call takers in the State Operations Centre and Paramedics in saving the life of someone experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest.
St John CEO Tony Ahern said Western Australia had never before hosted such a gathering.
“It’s a unique occasion and we are extremely grateful that people have come along – to have so many survivors in one room is a reminder that every day we are saving lives and that our goal of making first aid a part of everyone’s life is having an impact,” he said.
Mr Ahern said cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in Western Australia and only around 10 percent of people who have a cardiac arrest (OHCA) survive.
St John is also using this evening to launch its second annual report on out of hospital cardiac arrest which uses pioneering data to compare performance over time, and against other worldwide systems, to improve outcomes for OHCA patients.
“In the Perth metropolitan area alone approximately three individuals are treated for an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each day,” Mr Ahern said.
“What is becoming more apparent is that recognition of cardiac arrest by members of the public, and their ability to respond appropriately, can make all the difference in survival rates.”
“For this reason, St John continues to focus on creating awareness in the community around the recognition and response to cardiac arrest, and the value of having a defibrillator available to the public,” Mr Ahern said.
The Celebrate Life event will reinforce this message with survivors and hopefully create advocates who can attest first hand to the vital role of a first responder.
On the evening paramedics will present a special one of a kind brooch to the survivors which has been designed and created by a St John paramedic and references a heartbeat.
It is hoped that the Celebrate Life event will become a yearly occurrence and establish strong connections amongst survivors.
For a copy of the OCHA report go to www. stjohnwa.com.au/about-us/corporate-publications
Photo: Cardiac arrest survivor Malcolm Muemann with attending paramedic Tania Hill.