(graphic: St Johns Ambulance https://www.stjohnvic.com.au/)
A sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can occur to anyone at any time and often has no warning signs. Often, SCAs happen in public spaces, like when doing the grocery shopping or working out at the gym, so often the SCA casualty is heavily reliant on bystanders to step up and provide urgent emergency First Aid.
Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) – when a person’s heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body, caused by an abnormal heart rhythm - remains a leading cause of death across the nation, particularly in Victoria. Across Australia each year, as many as 30,000 OHCAs occur and unfortunately, the death rate remains at 90% - cementing OHCA as one of the leading causes of death in Australia.
Fortunately, if we all work together, this death rate can be decreased. How can this be done you ask? Well, this cannot be achieved without the assistance of the public. By bystanders providing early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) coupled with early defibrillation and an effective system of care, OHCA survival rates can be increased.