First aid can prevent cardiac arrest deaths
Immediate intervention through CPR when someone suffers a cardiac arrest following a heart attack is the best way to restart the heart.
During Heart Week 2013 (May 5-11) St John Ambulance are reminding people about the importance of providing prompt aid to people having a cardiac arrest.
SJA Clinical Services Director Professor Ian Jacobs said in Western Australia, less than half the patients who suffer a cardiac arrest receive CPR from a bystander before an ambulance arrives and this greatly reduces their chance of survival.
"The chance of survival can be substantially improved through bystander CPR," he said.
Prof Jacobs said any attempt at resuscitation was better than no attempt at all and that people who did not have CPR training should not be afraid of causing further harm.
"At a minimum by providing compressions to the centre of the chest at a rate of about 2 compressions per second without stopping can be life saving. If trained in CPR give 30 compressions followed by 2 ventilations." he said.
Prof Jacobs said defibrillators were an effective way to re-start the heart.
"If there is an AED (automated external defibrillator) available, use it. It is as simple as opening the box and following the instructions," he said.
Prof Jacobs said encouraged people to learn first aid, especially CPR. For more information about St John first aid training, visit: www.stjohnambulance.com.au