Last week saw ‘Restart A Heart Day’, a global initiative to raise awareness and education of CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) and AED’s (Automated External Defibrillators) in the community. 276 people drowned between 1st July 2018 and 30th June 2019, many of whom may have been saved by the fast and effective application of CPR. The first 5 minutes after cardiac arrest are the most critical – in fact, seconds count.
CPR refers to the actions taken to keep a casualty alive after their breathing and heartbeat has stopped. Resuscitation and early intervention can mean the difference between life and death, as giving breaths and compressions to a non-breathing patient pushes air into the lungs which then puts oxygen into the blood stream, reducing the risk of brain damage. Experts estimate the number of Australians with training in CPR is around five percent — but a child who receives it during an emergency is four times more likely to survive.
Would you know where to find and how to use an AED? Now commonly located in many public places including shopping centres, airports, clubs and swimming pools, AED’s deliver an electrical shock to a victim of cardiac arrest, helping to re-establish the hearts rhythm. The chance of survival is reduced by about 10 percent for every minute that defibrillation is delayed. AED’s are very simple to use, providing spoken step by step instructions to the user, and are programmed so that it’s impossible to shock a victim with a beating heart, but many people are unfamiliar with AED’s and therefore afraid to use them, mistakenly believing that specialised medical training is required. I highly recommend attending a CPR course for anyone who owns a backyard pool, during which you will also have the chance to access an AED training device. The more people in our community who are familiar with CPR, the better off we are. CPR courses are run monthly at Nepean Aquatic Centre by a Royal Life Saving Australia qualified assessor. Dates are on our website, or send me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, resuscitation is just one piece of the water safety puzzle. Now that we are in Spring, please make sure your home swimming pool is safe for children with Royal Life Saving’s Pool Safety app – an interactive checklist for your home swimming pool, available on the Royal Life Saving Australia website or the App Store. Stay safe everyone.