Home is heart of the problem

ST JOHN WA has launched a new Defibrillator Drive to raise money for 100 new defibrillators.

The ambos reckon there’s a huge gap in the number of defibrillators available in Perth’s suburbs, which is bad new for anyone who has a cardiac arrest.

“St John is trying to build resilient communities so in this regard we’re trying to help West Australians to help each other,” St John WA medical director Paul Bailey said.

“We’re aiming to get [the defibrillators] installed in a public location.

“When someone dials 000 we’re happy to give them the combination to unlock it.

“There are 4000 defibrillators scattered throughout Western Australia and most of them are within businesses, shopping centres, airports, schools, hotels, Optus Stadium, the Casino, most local gyms, various sporting and recreational groups,” Dr Bailey says.

Despite the gap in suburban coverage, three quarters of people who suffer a heart attack will be in their own home at the time. That means delays that can literally mean the difference between life and death.

“We’ve got currently preventable deaths happening out there in the suburbs… due to a lack of defibrillators,” Dr Bailey says.

The early use of a defibrillator, as well as early CPR, can double someone’s chances of surviving a cardiac arrest.

“When any individual does have a cardiac arrest, there will be a defibrillator close at hand and another member of the community willing to perform CPR, be it a family member or a first respondent,” Dr Bailey said.

People can donate to the Defibrillator Drive via stjohndefibdrive.com.au and the money will go towards providing 100 locations with their own defibrillator.

by ALEX MURFETT

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