The number of people who die from sudden cardiac arrest in New Zealand is three times greater than the national road toll.
- 5 Kiwis suffer from a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) every day – 90% of those don’t survive
- 75% Of patients will survive SCA if an AED is used within 3 minutes
- 99% Of people suffering a SCA can’t be resuscitated using CPR alone
Remember those movie scenes where paddles are stuck to the chest of an unresponsive character and then someone shouts, “Clear!” – that’s an AED.
AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator, but it’s also commonly referred to as a defib. Without getting too technical here, an AED is a portable medical device that can automatically assess a patient’s heart rhythm. It judges whether defibrillation is needed and, if required, administers an electric shock through the chest wall to heart. AEDs are very clever machines – they do all the grunt work and use voice or visual prompts to guide the user through the rescue process. Anyone can use an AED – you don’t have to be medically qualified.
Performing first aid in an emergency situation is a scary scenario for anyone, but knowing you have an AED on hand to use in such an instance is a massive relief. It’s kind of like a spare key for your home – you don’t realise how much it means to have one until you really, really need it.
We need to consider having other AED units in our community – perhaps located near to the boat ramp and near to Boyes Beach.
Martyn Norrie - 021 991313
Acknowledgement of material from: www.heartsaver.co.nz
Thanks to Martyn and Marg Norrie for their very generous and thoughtful contribution to the Lake Okareka community.