Cardiac Arrest Survivor Makes School Plea

  Cardiac Arrest Survivor Makes School Plea A Leicester resident, Sanjay Shah, who experienced cardiac arrest while playing football, is advocating for broader CPR training in schools, especially targeting teenagers. Last August, Shah collapsed during a football game, and his teammate, 26-year-old Silpesh Mistry, administered first aid until paramedics arrived, ultimately saving Shah’s life. Reflecting on the incident, Shah emphasised that Mistry’s knowledge of CPR was crucial in the critical moments. Expressing his conviction, Shah stressed the importance of integrating CPR training into the school curriculum at an early age. He believes that if CPR training were a regular part of education, it could empower more individuals to respond effectively during emergencies. Shah emphasised the need for widespread CPR education, emphasising that it should be introduced to students around the ages of 13 to 15. He argued that equipping young people with CPR skills could have a lifelong impact, similar to other subjects taught in schools. Recently, Shah reunited with Mistry and the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) staff who responded to his emergency. Niall Jerrison from EMAS highlighted the low survival rates associated with cardiac arrest incidents, making the importance of immediate CPR intervention even more critical. While the Department for Education acknowledged the current inclusion of first aid training in the curriculum, including CPR instruction for secondary school students, Shah’s advocacy underscores the call for more comprehensive and regular CPR education in schools. Source: BBC

Kansas City Chiefs’ player stable in hospital after cardiac arrest

  Kansas City Chiefs’ player stable in hospital after cardiac arrest Chiefs’ defensive end BJ Thompson is currently in a stable condition at a local hospital following a medical emergency, sources report. Thompson, aged 25, was rushed to the hospital from the team’s practice facility on Thursday morning after experiencing a seizure and subsequently going into cardiac arrest. According to Thompson’s agent, Chris Turnage, the player is currently unconscious, but medical professionals are optimistic about his recovery. In response to the situation, the Chiefs decided to send their players home from the facility instead of proceeding with their regularly scheduled OTA practice. The practice has been rescheduled for Friday. Thompson joined the Chiefs after being selected in the fifth round of the 2023 draft from Stephen F. Austin. In his rookie season, he participated in one game and made two tackles. Source: ESPN Australia

Cardiac Arrest Education Needed in Certain Australian Regions, Researchers Reveal

  Researchers have pinpointed Australian regions with high rates of cardiac arrest and low rates of CPR, highlighting the need for targeted education campaigns to raise awareness about preventing and treating heart issues. A project led by Monash University, funded by the Heart Foundation and conducted by the Australian Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (Aus-ROC), has identified areas with a high incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and low rates of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Cardiac arrest, which occurs when the heart stops beating, is different from a heart attack, although heart attacks can lead to cardiac arrest. Not all cardiac arrests are caused by heart attacks. Australia experiences approximately 26,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests annually. Of these cases, only 12% of patients treated by ambulance survive to hospital discharge or 30 days. Professor Janet Bray, senior author from Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine and Curtin University’s Prehospital, Resuscitation and Emergency Care Research Unit, emphasized the importance of the Chain of Survival interventions for cardiac arrest. “Early bystander CPR is one of the most crucial interventions,” Professor Bray stated. “Survival rates double when CPR is administered by bystanders.” The study, published in PLOS ONE, is a retrospective, observational analysis that used data from the Aus-ROC Australian and New Zealand OHCA Registry to map OHCAs by local government area (LGA) from 2017 to 2019. The researchers used mathematical models and mapping techniques to estimate incidence and bystander CPR rates for witnessed events in each LGA. High-risk LGAs were identified as those with an incidence rate above the 75th percentile and a bystander CPR rate below the 25th percentile for their state or territory. The study included 62,579 OHCA cases attended by ambulances across 543 LGAs nationwide. Sixty high-risk LGAs, with a combined population of 1.17 million, were identified, predominantly in New South Wales. Most of these areas were regional and remote, with exceptions including two in Adelaide and two in Perth. Nationally, OHCA incidence rates across LGAs varied from 58.5 to 198.3 per 100,000 people, while bystander CPR rates ranged from 45% to 75%. Professor Bray highlighted the significant variation in OHCA incidence and bystander CPR rates across Australian LGAs, underscoring the need for targeted education campaigns in high-risk areas. Previous Aus-ROC research with Ambulance Victoria found that Victorian regions with high OHCA rates often had populations with higher cardiovascular risk factors, such as older age, lower socioeconomic status and education levels, and higher smoking rates. The incidence of OHCA decreased during the Heart Foundation’s Warning Signs campaign for heart attacks, suggesting that quick action when experiencing heart attack symptoms can prevent cardiac arrests. “Regions with higher bystander CPR rates had higher levels of CPR training,” Professor Bray noted. “Ambulance Victoria and the Heart Foundation have since provided community education in these regions through their Heart Safe Community initiative. “This body of work demonstrates that public education can improve OHCA outcomes and that we can now focus our efforts on areas with the greatest need across Australia. “Many high-risk regions are in regional and remote areas. We are currently conducting research in NSW to explore community-based approaches to improve OHCA outcomes in these areas, and we are piloting a program in Victoria to teach high school students life-saving skills.” While similar analyses have been conducted on regional OHCA variations in Queensland and Victoria, this study is the first to apply these methods across all Australian states and territories. The organisations involved in this study include Monash University, Curtin University, Queensland University of Technology, Auckland University of Technology, Queensland Ambulance Service, St John Western Australia, NSW Ambulance, Ambulance Victoria, SA Ambulance Service, St John Ambulance NT, ACT Ambulance, and Ambulance Tasmania. For a full list of LGAs and their risk status, click here. Source: Monash University

Study Reveals Shocking Underuse of Life-Saving AEDs During Cardiac Arrests

Study Reveals Shocking Underuse of Life-Saving AEDs During Cardiac Arrests   Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) installed in numerous public venues have the potential to rescue individuals experiencing cardiac arrest, yet a recent study uncovers a disheartening reality: these devices are rarely utilised. Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and slated for presentation at an upcoming American College of Cardiology conference, the study examined almost 1,800 cases of cardiac arrest outside hospital settings, revealing that AEDs were employed in only 13 instances. Why the scarcity of AED utilisation? Despite their role in resuscitating Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin during an on-field health crisis last year, experts are puzzled by the underuse of these devices, leading to preventable deaths. Here’s what you need to know about AEDs and what steps you can take in an emergency. Understanding AEDs: AEDs serve as portable versions of hospital defibrillators, designed to restore the heart’s rhythm. While regulations surrounding AEDs vary across states, many public locations such as schools, gyms, airports, and federal buildings are mandated to have them. These devices feature a screen displaying instructions, a battery, and in some models, a speaker for audio guidance. Equipped with defibrillation pads, AEDs analyze the heart’s rhythm upon attachment to the chest and administer an electric shock if deemed necessary. With survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests ranging from 8% to 10%, defibrillation dramatically enhances the likelihood of survival, boosting it to 50% to 74%. Moreover, AEDs are user-friendly, requiring minimal training to operate, making them accessible to anyone in a critical situation. Why AEDs Remain Underutilised: Despite their availability, AEDs are seldom utilised during cardiac emergencies, as indicated by the study’s findings. The proximity of AEDs to cardiac arrest incidents did not significantly increase their usage, raising concerns about public awareness and response in emergencies. Dr. Mirza Khan, the lead author of the study, underscores the necessity of optimising AED placement and enhancing bystander education and awareness. Identifying high-risk areas for cardiac arrests could inform strategic AED placement strategies. What You Can Do: Empower yourself to respond effectively in an emergency by familiarizing yourself with AED locations in public spaces. Observe for AEDs in supermarkets, libraries, gyms, and theaters, preparing yourself mentally to act swiftly if needed. Additionally, mentally rehearse potential emergency scenarios to mitigate freezing during critical moments. Dr. Harlan Krumholz advises individuals to spend a few minutes envisioning their response to cardiac emergencies, emphasizing the simplicity and effectiveness of AEDs’ instructions. Recognizing signs of cardiac arrest, including fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, and chest pain, is crucial for prompt intervention. If confronted with a cardiac emergency, immediately call for help and initiate CPR if necessary, while seeking out an AED nearby. Remember, AEDs offer clear instructions and require minimal training to operate. By equipping yourself with basic knowledge and preparedness, you can contribute to saving lives in critical situations. Source: Yahoo

Mum’s Quick Actions Save 6-Year-Old Son After Baseball Accident

Mum’s Quick Actions Save 6-Year-Old Son After Baseball Accident   In a heart-stopping moment during a baseball game in Lake Worth, Florida, 6-year-old Oscar Stuebe faced cardiac arrest after being struck by a fly ball. Thanks to the swift response and CPR administered by his mother, Sarah Stuebe, Oscar is on the road to recovery and gearing up to hit the baseball field once more, this time equipped with a protective chest guard. The Stuebe family joined TODAY on April 5 to recount the frightening ordeal and underscore the importance of CPR in saving lives. “I immediately switched into nurse mode…he went limp. CPR instincts kicked in. I performed CPR for two minutes, realising all the while that this was my son. I was falling apart,” Sarah shared, her voice trembling as she relived the traumatic moments on the field. Oscar suffered from commotio cordis, a rare condition that also affected Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin in January 2023. Despite the ordeal, Oscar expressed feeling “good” during his interview with TODAY’s Hoda Kotb. His face lit up with joy upon seeing a get-well message from his favourite baseball player, New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe, played during the show. Following several days in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Oscar is now “back to his 6-year-old self,” according to his mother. “We were cautioned against raising his heart rate, which was a bit challenging with three other active brothers at home,” Sarah joked. Although relieved that their son’s crisis appears to have had a positive outcome, the Stuebe family is determined to prevent other families from experiencing similar traumas. “It was the worst imaginable scenario,” remarked dad Riley Stuebe during the TODAY interview. Playing centerfield during a double-header for his 7-year-old brother’s travel baseball team on Sunday, March 10, Oscar found himself involved in an unexpected turn of events. Despite the seemingly routine nature of the game, a player from the opposing team hit a pop fly that led to the incident. “It was a rather routine pop fly in centerfield, something we’ve seen countless times in the backyard. It wasn’t a powerful hit or a direct blow to his chest,” Riley explained. Oscar’s father rushed to his side as Sarah, from the stands, initially assumed everything was fine. However, a call from Riley quickly alerted her to the severity of the situation. “When Riley called out my name, I knew something was terribly wrong,” Sarah recalled. Sarah, a nurse, immediately dialed 911 and began CPR upon reaching her son, who was experiencing a seizure. Despite her medical training, the realisation that she was performing CPR on her own child was overwhelming. A physician’s assistant and parent from a neighbouring field, Jaime DeFalle, stepped in to assist with compressions until first responders arrived. Fortunately, the West Palm Fire Station 2 was located nearby, allowing for a rapid response. Oscar’s pulse was eventually detected during the ambulance ride to St. Mary’s Medical Center, a Level 1 trauma center. The agonising wait for news on Oscar’s condition was eased by the outpouring of support from both medical personnel and the opposing team’s community. “It was an agonising wait,” Sarah recalled. “We prayed incessantly, not only for Oscar but also for the 7-year-old who hit the fly ball, as it was a traumatic experience for everyone on the field.” Despite the initial uncertainty, Oscar showed signs of improvement upon waking up and was soon his cheerful self again. The Stuebe family expressed their gratitude for the care received and emphasized the importance of CPR training and access to defibrillators in saving lives. “Our sons will now wear specialised chest protectors on the field, a precaution mandated by USA Lacrosse but not yet by national youth baseball leagues,” Sarah asserted. “Whether they’re playing in the backyard or on the field, safety is our priority.” In collaboration with cardiologist Dr. Holly S. Andersen, the Stuebes aim to promote Hands Only CPR initiatives, emphasizing the simplicity and effectiveness of the technique. “We urge everyone to learn CPR—it could truly make a difference,” Sarah emphasized. As they reflect on their journey, the Stuebes remain grateful for the support received from all corners, underscoring the unity and compassion that transcends competitive boundaries. “As one of the other team’s moms put it, ‘We may wear different jerseys, but ultimately, we’re all on the same team,’” Sarah concluded. Source: This article was originally published on TODAY.com.

Hawthorn Resident Rescued Following Gym Cardiac Arrest

Hawthorn Resident Rescued Following Gym Cardiac Arrest   Hugh, a Hawthorn resident, faced a dire situation when he suffered a cardiac arrest at the gym. Thanks to the swift actions of a family member and the specialized skills of a rapid-response team from The Alfred and Ambulance Victoria, he was given another chance at life. Hugh, a father of two, joins a select group of only 19 individuals in Melbourne who have undergone ECMO, a life-saving intervention, outside of a hospital setting, all due to a groundbreaking trial in Victoria. ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, serves as a surrogate for a patient’s heart and lungs when these organs fail, by redirecting blood through an external machine. Traditionally, this procedure is only available in specialized hospital settings. Dr. Sacha Richardson, co-lead of the trial and specialist at Alfred’s ICU, explained that while CPR and defibrillation are vital in responding to cardiac arrests, the chances of survival drop significantly if the heart cannot be restarted within 30 minutes. “We aim to change that with ECMO,” Dr. Richardson emphasized. Dr. Aidan Burrell, an ICU physician who was among the first responders, expressed his delight at seeing Hugh’s progress. “He is incredibly motivated and following all the necessary steps for recovery. It’s heartening to witness his substantial improvement,” Dr. Burrell remarked. Source: Alfred Hospital

Shinty Official Survives Cardiac Arrest Thanks to Quick Action

Shinty Official Survives Cardiac Arrest Thanks to Quick Action   Stevie Maclachlan, a 56-year-old shinty referee, owes his life to the swift response of players and the presence of a defibrillator after he suffered a cardiac arrest during a match. Maclachlan began feeling unwell just 12 minutes into Saturday’s MacTavish Cup tie between Caberfeidh and Kinlochshiel in Strathpeffer. “I had a severe pain in my chest – it was getting tighter and tighter. I was down on one knee, I managed to blow my whistle and then everything went black,” he recounted. Conor Cormack, captain of Kinlochshiel, along with teammate Keith Macrae, who are both firefighters, utilized a defibrillator from Caberfeidh’s clubhouse and administered CPR to revive Maclachlan. Currently recuperating at home in Muir of Ord after receiving hospital treatment, Maclachlan expressed his gratitude, stating, “I am lucky to be here. I wouldn’t be here if Conor and Keith hadn’t been there. The outcome might not have been as well.” Reflecting on the incident, Maclachlan emphasized the importance of having defibrillators readily available, expressing his hope that shinty clubs without one would install them. These devices deliver a high-energy shock to the heart during cardiac arrest, aiding in restarting it. Maclachlan recalled the moment of regaining consciousness, stating, “Conor was a foot away and I asked him what he was doing, and he said ‘I’m glad you’re back’ and I asked ‘from where?’ I said to him ‘if you get out of the road I’ll get up,’ but he said I couldn’t get up, and then it sort of sank in.” Despite the harrowing experience on the field, Maclachlan noted that the hospital treatment significantly improved his health, remarking, “I feel better than I have done for months.” Source: BBC

Can a defibrillator be used on infants?

Short answer, yes! Defibrillators can be used on infants, but it’s essential to use paediatric-specific pads or a paediatric dose attenuator (if available) to deliver an appropriate energy level for their size. Additionally, the AHA recommends using manual defibrillation if paediatric pads or dose attenuators are not available. It is crucial to follow the specific guidelines provided by the defibrillator manufacturer and receive appropriate training in paediatric defibrillation to ensure proper usage.

UK: Cardiac Arrest Survivor Defies Odds: Northern Ireland Leads in Life-Saving Skills

UK: Cardiac Arrest Survivor Defies Odds: Northern Ireland Leads in Life-Saving Skills New statistics from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) highlight Northern Ireland’s impressive standing in life-saving skills within the UK. The data reveals that nearly 75% of adults in Northern Ireland possess the ability to perform CPR, with virtually all respondents acknowledging the importance of acquiring this vital skill. CPR proficiency can prove pivotal in the face of a cardiac arrest, acting as the critical factor between life and death. This reality hit close to home for a Belfast couple, Steve and Andrea Bond. Steve Bond, a 61-year-old from Belfast, experienced a sudden cardiac arrest while working at an international golf event in 2022. His wife, Andrea, realising something was amiss, promptly administered CPR on the spot, ultimately saving his life as they awaited the ambulance. Steve, a seemingly healthy individual who ate well, was astonished by the unexpected cardiac arrest. Reflecting on the incident, he shared that friends were shocked by the occurrence, and doctors informed him that his heart had stopped for approximately 40 minutes. The consultants emphasised that surviving such an event was rare and credited Andrea’s immediate CPR intervention. Andrea, drawing on her prior training in first aid, began CPR before even receiving instructions from the ambulance operator. She recounted the harrowing 13 minutes before the ambulance arrived, stating, “Everything was going horribly wrong in front of me.” Having lost her mother and witnessed her father’s passing as a child, Andrea felt compelled to act, underscoring the importance of CPR training even if acquired through indirect means like TV and advertisements. The significance of CPR proficiency becomes evident when considering the statistics in Northern Ireland, where over 1,400 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually, with less than one in ten resulting in survival. While the figures demonstrate Northern Ireland’s leading position, the BHF emphasises the need for broader CPR education. Fearghal McKinney, Head of the British Heart Foundation Northern Ireland, stresses the importance of Heart Month in increasing CPR training. Despite Northern Ireland’s commendable 74% CPR proficiency rate, Scotland closely follows at 71%, with Wales and England at 60% and 58%, respectively. The BHF introduces an online tool, RevivR, to facilitate CPR learning, encouraging people to invest just 15 minutes during breaks to acquire life-saving skills. McKinney concludes, “Every moment matters when someone has a cardiac arrest, and being able to step in and perform CPR could be the difference between life and death. A cardiac arrest can affect anyone, at any time, so we want as many people to learn CPR as possible.” Source: BBC

Australia Set to Establish World’s Largest Registry for Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Australia Set to Establish World’s Largest Registry for Sudden Cardiac Arrest In a groundbreaking effort to unravel the mysteries surrounding sudden cardiac arrest, Australian scientists, backed by the Heart Foundation and led by Dr. Elizabeth Paratz from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, are embarking on the creation of the world’s most extensive registry for sudden cardiac arrest deaths. This initiative, known as CODEX-SD, will begin its data collection in Victoria and amalgamate information from two significant databases, connecting ambulance and forensic data for an unprecedented examination. The CODEX-SD super-registry will offer researchers an unparalleled opportunity to closely investigate the causes of sudden cardiac arrests and explore potential preventive measures. This comprehensive database will serve as a central repository for cardiac arrest data nationwide, aiding researchers in scrutinizing rare conditions, identifying trends, and gaining insights into the cardiac experiences of under-represented populations. Dr. Paratz emphasized that CODEX-SD is pivotal in guiding researchers toward understanding the genetic intricacies contributing to sudden cardiac arrest, a leading cause of death for individuals under the age of 50 in Australia. The registry aims to provide clarity in cases where, despite exhaustive investigations, there is no apparent cause for the tragic events leading to sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart abruptly ceases to pump blood effectively throughout the body, and it can strike at any time and place. Immediate and appropriate intervention is crucial for survival, as 90 percent of individuals experiencing sudden cardiac arrest do not survive without prompt assistance. Annually, around 25,000 Australians face out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, with 30 to 40 percent of cases remaining unexplained by doctors. Dr. Paratz expressed the importance of addressing this lack of closure for families, stating that understanding the genetic factors could not only bring solace to affected families but also help identify individuals at risk within the family. The registry receives strong support from Jessica Maris, who tragically lost her husband Bryan at the age of 31 to sudden cardiac arrest. Bryan, an A-grade cyclist and exceptionally fit individual, succumbed to an unexpected cardiac event. Jessica emphasized the potential significance of an early electrocardiogram (ECG) in identifying conditions like Brugada syndrome, which was later suspected to be the cause of Bryan’s sudden cardiac arrest. The Maris family’s endorsement of the registry underscores the critical need for comprehensive research in preventing sudden cardiac arrests, enabling early identification of genetic conditions, and ultimately saving lives. The initiative aims not only to advance medical knowledge but also to provide families with a clearer understanding and potential avenues for prevention. Source: Heart Foundation

Gender Disparity in Bystander Defibrillation: Victorian Study Reveals Challenges for Women in Cardiac Emergencies

Gender Disparity in Bystander Defibrillation: Victorian Study Reveals Challenges for Women in Cardiac Emergencies A recent study conducted by the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and Ambulance Victoria sheds light on a concerning gender disparity in bystander defibrillation during cardiac emergencies in Victoria. The research, examining over 32,500 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, reveals that women experiencing cardiac arrest are only half as likely as men to receive defibrillation from bystanders. The study, analysing data spanning from 2002 to 2021 from the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry, indicates that a mere 5% of women who suffered cardiac arrest received defibrillation from bystanders, in stark contrast to the 10% of men who did. These findings persist despite the existence of laws across all Australian states and territories protecting bystanders acting in good faith during medical emergencies. Interviews with bystanders uncovered concerns related to the public exposure of women’s chests, potential injury, or confusion about recognising a woman experiencing cardiac arrest. However, the research also highlights a positive trend in bystander CPR rates for women, rising from 42.7% in 2002-03 to 71.3% in 2020-21. The gender disparity in CPR rates was notably less pronounced, with only a 2% difference between men and women. CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, involves chest compressions to temporarily pump blood to the brain until specialized treatment is available. Despite the challenges posed by gender-related concerns, individuals like Carol Reid from Birchip, a member of the local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), emphasise the importance of training and the need for community members to learn basic CPR skills. The study aligns with international findings from last year, indicating that bystanders are less likely to perform CPR on women than on men during public cardiac emergencies. The research emphasises the critical need to address this gender disparity in community care for women experiencing cardiac arrest. Ziad Nehme, a paramedic and Ambulance Victoria’s director of research and evaluation, underscores the importance of community involvement in bridging this gap. Dr. Nehme encourages individuals to learn CPR and use the GoodSAM app, a life-saving smartphone application connecting those in cardiac arrest with community members willing to initiate CPR and use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) before paramedics arrive. While challenges persist, community efforts and awareness campaigns can contribute to closing the gender gap in bystander defibrillation, ultimately improving survival outcomes for women during cardiac emergencies. Source; ABC News

Member of Frankston saves man after plane crash

Paul Edbrooke, the Member for Frankston in Victoria, has emerged as a hero, displaying incredible bravery and lifesaving skills just days after surviving a harrowing plane crash. Edbrooke was a passenger on a skydiving plane carrying 16 others when it encountered engine trouble at an altitude of 600 feet over Barwon Heads last Friday. Thanks to the pilot’s remarkable skills, the aircraft made a safe emergency landing in a field, and miraculously, all the occupants emerged with only minor injuries. Edbrooke’s heroic actions didn’t stop there. He had a remarkable tool at his disposal, the Good Samaritan App, which promptly notifies individuals capable of providing CPR in emergency situations within their proximity. And just two minutes away, a man in his 60s was seriously unwell and waiting after bystanders called 000. He was in the midst of a cardiac arrest, having lost his pulse and wasn’t breathing. Edbrooke quickly sprang into action, initiating CPR. Astonishingly, after just about a minute of life-saving efforts, the man began breathing once again. Paul Edbrooke, who had previously served as a firefighter for 14 years, reflected on the extraordinary turn of events, noting that such a life-affirming outcome was a rarity even during his extensive firefighting career. His quick thinking and the Good Samaritan App played crucial roles in saving a fellow human being’s life, adding another incredible chapter to his remarkable story. Source: 9now

Victoria’s top 10 cardiac arrest suburbs

St John Ambulance Victoria Advocates for Mandatory Defibrillators to Save Lives St John Ambulance Victoria, is urging the Victorian government to implement mandatory defibrillator installations in workplaces and public buildings. This call comes in response to alarming rates of cardiac arrests in the region. Recently, South Australia became the first Australian jurisdiction to mandate the installation of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in various public establishments, including schools, sports facilities, correctional facilities, and large private facilities. Gordon Botwright, Chief Executive of St John Ambulance Victoria, has appealed to his state to adopt similar regulations. Mr. Botwright stated, “We can’t tolerate losing friends or family at work due to being unable to access a lifesaving defibrillator.” Statistics reveal that around 30,000 Australians suffer sudden cardiac arrests outside of hospitals annually, with less than five percent surviving without immediate CPR and defibrillation. In the previous year, only 1.45 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims received an early defibrillator shock from a publicly accessible device. Furthermore, it was found that only 51 percent of Australians are familiar with defibrillator operation, a figure that rises to 85 percent for those who have undergone first aid training in the past three years. Mr. Botwright emphasized the need for more people to learn CPR and defibrillator operation, stating that this knowledge is crucial in the chain of survival for cardiac arrest victims. He also stressed that it’s time for the Victorian government to make defibrillators mandatory in workplaces and public buildings. In response to these appeals, a government spokesperson pointed out that Victoria already boasts more than 7,000 registered AEDs, more than any other state or territory in Australia. These devices are distributed across a variety of locations, including public spaces and businesses, contributing to a network of safety. Nevertheless, as of now, there are no official plans in Victoria to mandate the installation of AEDs in all public spaces and workplaces. WorkSafe Victoria encourages employers to consider the feasibility of having an AED on-site to mitigate the risk of death from cardiac arrest. Top Victorian suburbs for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests: Recorded from July 2017 to June 2022 St Albans, Albanvale, Kealba, Kings Park (3021): 285 Werribee, Werribee South, Point Cook (3030): 285 Cranbourne, Cranbourne West, Cranbourne North (3977): 276 Frankston, Frankston South (3199): 269 Dandenong, Dandenong South, Dandenong North (3175): 248 Ballarat (3350): 242 Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit, Truganina (3029): 226 Reservoir (3073): 216 Sunshine, Sunshine West, Sunshine North, Albion, Derrmiut (3020): 215 Noble Park, Noble Park North (3174): 181 An inspiring example of the impact of AEDs occurred at the Frankston National Golf Club – Long Island, where the presence of a defibrillator saved the life of a sudden cardiac arrest victim. Golf operations manager Sahil Sahib, along with fellow staff members, administered CPR and used the AED, ultimately leading to a successful recovery for the patient. Source: St John Ambulance Victoria

Defibrillators placed in all of London’s stations

Defibrillators have been strategically placed at various locations within London’s extensive transportation network. A collaborative effort involving City Hall, the London Ambulance Service (LAS), and Transport for London (TfL) has successfully implemented this vital addition across all Underground and Overground stations, as well as most bus stations and piers. In tandem with this deployment, a training video has been introduced to instruct individuals on administering chest compressions and effectively utilizing a defibrillator. Notably, the LAS responded to nearly 13,000 cardiac arrests in the capital city last year. London Mayor Sadiq Khan emphasized the significance of timely intervention in cardiac emergencies, stating, “For every minute that goes by without life-saving intervention like CPR and defibrillation, the chances of a person surviving cardiac arrest decrease by 10%. It’s important that Londoners not only have the kit but the skills to step in and assist when someone is having a cardiac arrest, which is why I’m proud that we have launched a short training video, which demonstrates how to perform chest compressions and use a defibrillator. This rollout and education drive will ensure people traveling in our city feel safe and confident that they will be helped in the case of an emergency.” These strategically placed defibrillators now span all of London’s boroughs, accessible to the public in the event of a cardiac arrest. Additionally, a heart-shaped QR code can be found on each defibrillator within the TfL network, granting access to the informative training video. The video draws on techniques from LAS’s London Lifesavers training, enabling individuals to gain essential lifesaving knowledge. The LAS is also encouraging the public to engage with its London Lifesavers initiative, empowering them with the skills necessary to respond when someone experiences a cardiac arrest. Daniel Elkeles, the chief executive of LAS, emphasized the potential impact of learning these skills, saying, “With additional defibs across the capital from today, learning these skills could be the difference between life and death.” In a proactive measure, the LAS has launched its London Lifesavers campaign within schools, starting with Year 8 students. Over 200 students from six schools will receive training in CPR techniques and defibrillator operation.

AED becomes the unexpected hero in saving tradesman’s life

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) became the unexpected hero in saving a tradesman’s life following a workplace cardiac arrest. Dylan Holmes, whose fateful decision to work overtime led to a life-altering experience, is grateful for the presence of an AED at his workplace, as it played a pivotal role in his survival. Reflecting on the incident, Mr. Holmes recounted how an ordinary day at an industrial business in Mackay, Queensland, took a terrifying turn when he suddenly suffered a cardiac arrest. The circumstances leading up to his collapse were almost mundane; he had been engaged in conversation with a colleague one moment, only to find himself on the floor gasping for breath the next. Fortunately, his employer, Mick Baker, was on-site when the crisis unfolded. Initially, given the hot weather, they attributed Mr. Holmes’s condition to dehydration. However, their response was swift and potentially life-saving. As they rushed to provide assistance, one of their colleagues fetched the defibrillator. Upon quick assessment, it became evident that Mr. Holmes was not breathing and had no pulse. This marked the critical moment when the AED became instrumental. Nine shocks were administered to Mr. Holmes during the journey from the workshop to the Mackay Base Hospital, which was five kilometers away. Remarkably, despite having had the AED for over a decade, this was the first time it was used at the workplace. Mick Baker emphasized that it was the AED’s timely deployment that saved Mr. Holmes’ life, and he recognized that the incident served as a wake-up call for both their business and others in their industry. The incident prompted a ripple effect, leading to greater awareness and preparedness. Conversations about the presence and accessibility of AEDs in workplaces became common. Managers and employees in various businesses began to inquire about AEDs, with some taking proactive measures to locate and familiarize themselves with the devices. Mr. Baker and Mr. Holmes have taken it upon themselves to share their experience and knowledge to encourage others to invest in AEDs for their workplaces. They recognize that AEDs are not prohibitively expensive, especially when considering the potential to save lives. In Australia and New Zealand, approximately 30,000 individuals experience cardiac arrests annually, as reported by the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS). Regrettably, the survival rate in such cases is typically low. Every minute without defibrillation decreases the chances of survival by 10 percent. In essence, within ten minutes without access to a defibrillator, a person’s chances of survival diminish significantly. Lachlan Parker, the QAS clinical director, underscores the urgency of having AEDs readily available, stressing that these devices are becoming more affordable, but the value they bring in saving lives is immeasurable. Often, patients who receive prompt defibrillation experience positive outcomes and recover well. Both Mr. Parker and Mr. Baker emphasize that AEDs can make a difference not only for strangers but also for one’s own family. In the case of Dylan Holmes, he was given a second chance at life, allowing him to return home to his family, which is ultimately the most important outcome. While the cost of AEDs can vary, businesses can typically expect to invest a few thousand dollars in acquiring these lifesaving units. However, the peace of mind and the potential to save lives far outweigh the expense. In this day and age, as Mr. Holmes aptly puts it, having an AED in the workplace is a “no-brainer.”

DRSABCD: The Lifesaving Action Plan You Need to Know

DRSABCD: The Lifesaving Action Plan You Need to Know   In the face of a medical emergency, having a clear plan of action can mean the difference between life and death. Enter DRSABCD – a mnemonic that could be your saving grace when it comes to responding effectively in such situations. This essential action plan is widely taught by organizations like St John Ambulance, Surf Life Saving, schools, universities, sporting clubs, corporate offices, and workplaces across the globe. The DRSABCD Breakdown DRSABCD stands for: D – Danger: The first step is to assess the situation’s safety for yourself, bystanders, and the person in distress. Never jeopardize your safety while trying to help. R – Response: Check if the person is conscious by talking to them and gently shaking their shoulders. No response indicates unconsciousness. S – Send for Help: If the situation calls for it, immediately call emergency services. In Australia, dial triple zero (000) and provide necessary information. Clear the area to help emergency services locate the patient swiftly. A – Airway: Ensure the person’s airway is clear. Unconscious individuals are at risk of airway obstruction, so gently tilt their head back to open the airway. If there are obstructions, clear them carefully. B – Breathing: Check for breathing by observing chest movements, listening near the mouth and nose, and feeling for breath on the chest. If the person is unconscious but breathing, turn them onto their side and monitor their breathing. C – CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation): If the person is unconscious and not breathing, perform CPR. Place the heel of one hand in the center of the chest and compress to one-third of chest depth 30 times. Follow with two breaths, tilting the head back and blowing into the mouth to ensure chest rise. Continue this cycle until the arrival of ambulance officers or another trained individual. D – Defibrillator: If an unconscious person is not breathing, and an automated external defibrillator (AED) is available, use it. AEDs can be found in many public places and organizations. They deliver an electrical shock to correct irregular heartbeats and restore normal rhythm. Simply follow the provided instructions and voice prompts. Why DRSABCD Matters Incidents like drownings can lead to cardiac arrest, and in Australia alone, there are over 30,000 cardiac arrest cases each year. Survival rates decrease by 10% with every minute of delay, emphasizing the critical importance of timely intervention. Proper training and preparedness are essential, given the narrow window of opportunity. Defibrillator Training for DRSABCD To facilitate effective training in defibrillation and the DRSABCD action plan, Cardiac Defibrillators offers defibrillation training units. These units simulate different heart rhythms, allowing participants to apply defibrillation pads, practice AED usage, and perform CPR compressions on a manikin. Clear, instructive voice guidance and a metronome ensure a realistic and informative training experience. More Resources Available In addition to training units, there are a variety of resources available for defibrillators. These resources include an informative DRSABCD infographic that can be displayed in the workplace or included in an emergency response manual. In sum, DRSABCD is a lifesaving acronym taught in first aid courses, providing a structured approach to medical emergencies. Being prepared and knowing how to respond in the DRSABCD way can help keep a person breathing, alleviate pain, and potentially save lives until professional help arrives. In a crisis, it’s not just knowledge; it’s a lifeline.

Campaign Gains Momentum for Mandatory Defibrillators in Australian Workplaces

Campaign Gains Momentum for Mandatory Defibrillators in Australian Workplaces Prominent academics are advocating for the compulsory installation of defibrillators in all workplaces and public facilities across Australia, aiming to curb the tragic toll of sudden cardiac arrests. These calls coincide with the launch of a new commission by The Lancet medical journal, dedicated to reducing the global burden of sudden cardiac death—a condition responsible for over half of all cardiac-related fatalities and up to 20 percent of overall mortality worldwide. Karen Smith, an adjunct professor at Monash University’s Department of Paramedicine and one of Australia’s two commissioners on this initiative, highlights the alarming statistic that approximately 27,000 individuals experience sudden cardiac arrest in Australia annually, with a mere 11 percent survival rate. However, research underscores a ray of hope: survival rates can soar to as high as 70 percent if immediate CPR and defibrillation are administered within the initial critical minutes. This underscores the urgent need for all Australian state and territory governments to emulate South Australia’s pioneering move and mandate defibrillators in all public buildings. The Vital Role of Early Intervention Dr. Smith asserts the necessity of mandating defibrillators in new high-rise structures, government buildings, sports facilities, and schools. Swift action is crucial because for every minute without intervention, the chances of survival decline by approximately 10 percent. She stresses the importance of educating the general populace on recognizing cardiac arrests and appropriate responses, emphasizing that every workplace should be obligated to possess a defibrillator. Dr. Smith further advocates for the registration of these defibrillators with local ambulance services, ensuring that emergency hotline operators can direct callers to the nearest available unit. She asserts that having defibrillators is futile if their location cannot be effectively communicated. Moreover, Australia should invest in expanding cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training. Dr. Smith points to successful international models where CPR training is mandated for activities like obtaining a driver’s license in some countries. Calls for Enhanced Defibrillator Accessibility In conjunction with the commission’s launch, The Lancet recommends exploring the deployment of defibrillators in taxis and drones. These mobile units could cover larger areas and increase the chances of delivering automated external defibrillators promptly to the scene of an emergency. Another crucial recommendation from The Lancet is the expansion of genetic testing for assessing the risk of sudden cardiac death, making it more affordable and accessible. Jodie Ingles, an associate professor at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and another Australian contributor to The Lancet’s commission, emphasizes that genetic testing can be the sole means of explaining sudden cardiac arrest fatalities, particularly when postmortem examinations are inconclusive due to the absence of a living heart for diagnostic tests. Dr. Ingles acknowledges the challenges but also highlights the importance of genetic testing for families seeking answers. She notes that despite the obstacles, there is a significant need for research in this area, as even with genetic testing, informative results are obtained in only a fraction of cases—perhaps as few as 20 percent—highlighting the vast room for advancement in this critical field.

Research Reveals Early Warning Signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Research Reveals Early Warning Signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest A recent study has unveiled that approximately half of individuals who suffer from a sudden cardiac arrest may experience specific warning symptoms 24 hours before the onset of this life-threatening event, offering a potential breakthrough in early detection. The study, published in The Lancet Digital Health journal earlier this week, offers hope in identifying and preventing sudden cardiac arrests before they occur. Researchers, including those affiliated with the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in the United States, also noted gender-related variations in these warning symptoms. Among women, the most prevalent symptom preceding a sudden cardiac arrest was shortness of breath, while men more frequently reported chest pain. Additionally, subgroups of both genders mentioned palpitations, seizure-like activity, and flu-like symptoms as precursors to their cardiac arrests. Sudden cardiac arrest claims the lives of 90 percent of individuals who experience it outside of medical facilities, underscoring the critical need for methods to predict and avert this condition. Study co-author Sumeet Chugh emphasized the significance of utilizing warning symptoms to identify individuals requiring immediate medical attention, potentially enabling early intervention and the prevention of impending fatalities. The research involved the analysis of data from two well-established, ongoing community-based studies: the Prediction of Sudden Death in Multi-Ethnic Communities (Presto) Study, initiated eight years ago in Ventura County, California, and the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study (Suds), which commenced 22 years ago in Portland, Oregon. Researchers evaluated the prevalence of individual symptoms and combinations of symptoms occurring before sudden cardiac arrest in both studies and compared these findings with control groups that also sought emergency medical care. In the Ventura-based study, it was discovered that 50 percent of the 823 individuals who experienced sudden cardiac arrest—whether witnessed by a bystander or attended to by an emergency medical professional—had exhibited at least one telltale symptom 24 hours prior to the event. Similar results were obtained in the Oregon-based study. Eduardo Marbán, another author of the study, emphasized the significance of this community-based research, highlighting its assessment of warning symptoms and symptom sets associated with imminent sudden cardiac arrest. This study marks a pioneering effort in evaluating these associations using a comparison group that included symptoms documented by emergency medical services during routine care. These findings open doors to further research aimed at combining various symptoms with other characteristics of the condition, potentially leading to enhanced prediction and prevention of sudden cardiac arrest. Dr. Chugh expressed optimism regarding the potential of these sex-specific warning symptoms and suggested that future research would incorporate additional features, such as clinical profiles and biometric measures, to further improve the prediction of sudden cardiac arrest and usher in a new era in its prevention.  

Unpacking why sudden cardiac arrests happen in youth

At the age of 20, Sara experienced a sudden halt in her heartbeat. Now, scientists are determined to unravel the enigma behind such incidents occurring in young individuals. Researchers are embarking on a quest to demystify sudden cardiac arrests in young people by creating a comprehensive genetic database encompassing individuals under the age of 50 who possess rare heart conditions, along with their respective family histories. The Garvan Institute of Medical Research has unveiled a novel registry, dedicated to accumulating the medical records and blood samples of every individual in New South Wales (NSW) who has encountered a sudden cardiac arrest between the ages of one and 50. It is a well-established fact that most sudden cardiac arrests in individuals under 35 are attributed to inherited genetic conditions, and regrettably, only one out of ten individuals manages to survive this dire situation. Sudden cardiac arrests occur when the heart experiences a malfunction, resulting in an abrupt cessation of its beating rhythm. This critical event deprives the brain and vital organs of oxygen. It is imperative to distinguish these events from heart attacks, which stem from the blockage of coronary arteries, obstructing blood flow to the heart. Associate Professor Jodie Ingles, the leader of this research endeavour and a specialist in cardiac genetics, emphasizes that the registry serves a dual purpose. It not only offers vital support and information to survivors and grieving families affected by sudden cardiac arrest but also strives to pinpoint the underlying genetic factors that may pave the way for innovative treatment strategies. Ingles underscores the unfortunate reality that, for numerous patients, their initial awareness of an inherited heart condition occurs in the form of sudden cardiac death. She acknowledges that this is a harrowing way to discover one’s health condition and underscores the importance of avoiding such a scenario. One of the pioneers to sign up for this registry in NSW is Sara Catena. In 2013, at the tender age of 20, she endured a cardiac arrest in her Newcastle residence. Initially diagnosed with long QT syndrome, a disorder impacting the heart’s electrical system, she had a small defibrillator implanted in her chest. Subsequent genetic testing revealed a different condition, arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, a rare hereditary ailment that replaces normal heart muscle with fatty, fibrous tissue, disrupting the heart’s electrical signals. Reflecting on her experience, Sara acknowledges the shock of surviving a cardiac arrest at such a young age. However, genetic testing helped her comprehend her condition and its potential onset from teenage years onward. Furthermore, it facilitated her family’s understanding of the hereditary nature of the disease. Professor Chris Semsarian, a cardiologist affiliated with the University of Sydney’s Centenary Institute and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, highlights the significance of a statewide database in ascertaining the causes of sudden cardiac arrest or death. This resource enables clinical cardiologists to provide more precise information regarding genetic risks to family members. By establishing this registry, cardiologists hope to implement preventive measures against sudden cardiac arrest in affected families, ultimately enhancing accessibility to these critical services across the state. The registry will consolidate and securely preserve cardiac data derived from survivor volunteers, their families, as well as data from NSW Ambulance and coroner’s reports. It mirrors a similar initiative in Victoria that has successfully gathered cardiac information from 3500 patients since 2019. Annually, approximately 3000 Australians aged between one and 50 face the terrifying ordeal of sudden cardiac arrest, underscoring the urgency and importance of this research endeavour.  

Tragic Loss of Young Footballer Leads to Life-Saving Organ Donation

Tragic Loss of Young Footballer Leads to Life-Saving Organ Donation In a heart-wrenching incident during an Australian rules football game, 20-year-old Antonio Loiacono, a player for Birdwood Football Club, suffered critical injuries in a collision. The horrifying accident occurred in the final quarter of a match against Gumeracha at Gumeracha Oval in the Adelaide Hills, around 8 pm on Saturday night. Despite receiving immediate treatment at the scene and being airlifted to Royal Adelaide Hospital, Antonio was declared brain dead by Sunday afternoon and sadly passed away later that night. In the midst of this devastating loss, a silver lining emerges as Antonio’s 19-year-old brother, Jack, reveals that the young Adelaide tradie’s life will save the lives of at least two others through organ donation. According to Jack, Antonio sustained the fatal injury while going to pick up the ball, facing an intense impact that led to cardiac arrest on the spot. Paramedics managed to revive him, but approximately 24 hours after the incident, Antonio was taken off life support, surrounded by his parents, brother, and girlfriend when he passed away. Despite the immense pain of losing his beloved brother, Jack shares touching memories of Antonio on Facebook, expressing the depth of his grief and love for him. Antonio’s caring and thoughtful nature, coupled with his passion for the sport he loved, left a lasting impact on everyone around him. Amidst the sadness, the family finds solace in knowing that Antonio’s legacy will live on through organ donation. He will be saving the lives of a baby boy and a 19-year-old, providing hope and a second chance to those in need. The Great Southern Football League also pays tribute to Antonio, extending its sincere condolences to his family and friends, recognizing the profound impact such incidents have on the community of football enthusiasts. The league acknowledges the tragic loss of a player in an unfortunate on-field incident, regardless of the level of the game, and stands with Antonio’s family and Birdwood Football Club during this time of unimaginable grief. Source: kidspots.com.au

Enhancing Diversity in Training Programs for CPR in New South Wales

Enhancing Diversity in Training Programs for CPR in New South Wales New research featured in the BMJ Open has shed light on the need for improved CPR training opportunities in New South Wales (NSW), especially for individuals from culturally diverse backgrounds. The study reveals that performing CPR during a cardiac arrest can significantly increase survival chances, but many Australians born overseas lack the necessary support and access to learn these life-saving skills. Cardiac arrest survival rates outside of hospitals are typically low, hovering around 10 percent. However, when bystanders respond promptly with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or use automated external defibrillators (AEDs), the likelihood of survival more than doubles. The research, conducted by the Westmead Applied Research Centre (WARC) at the University of Sydney, focused on the CPR training rates and preparedness among various ethnic communities in NSW, particularly among large and growing migrant groups. The study found that while many people express an interest in learning CPR and using AEDs, not everyone feels confident or equipped to respond in a cardiac emergency. One significant finding was that individuals born overseas showed lower rates of CPR training compared to their Australian-born counterparts. Only 35 percent of those born in South Asia and 48 percent of East Asian-born individuals had received prior CPR training, in contrast to 77 percent of Australian-born participants. Moreover, only one in five respondents had received recent CPR training within the last year, despite the importance of refreshing skills, as highlighted by previous research. According to Sonali Munot, the first author of the study and WARC Project manager, Australian migrants reported a lack of CPR learning opportunities in their countries of origin. Furthermore, the accessibility of linguistically diverse training resources and CPR awareness campaigns in Australia is limited, compounding the issue. Professor Clara Chow, Academic Director of WARC and senior author of the study, pointed out that other factors, such as workplace training and Good Samaritan laws, also contribute to the disparity. Good Samaritan laws in Australia protect individuals acting in good faith while administering CPR from potential legal consequences. Importantly, the research indicated that the lower training rates were not due to a lack of willingness to learn. Across various cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, individuals expressed openness to CPR training if given the opportunity. This highlights the potential for public health campaigns to adapt and customize CPR training modules to increase response rates in culturally diverse communities. In response to the need for accessible resources, some organizations have made CPR and AED training videos available online in multiple languages, including Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic, and Hindi, among others. The researchers believe that simple initiatives like these can significantly contribute to reducing cardiac arrest-related fatalities in multi-lingual and multi-ethnic communities. Sonali Munot emphasized the importance of raising awareness about the effectiveness of early intervention in CPR. Any attempt, even by untrained individuals, is better than no attempt, especially considering that automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are designed to guide users with voice prompts. The study’s authors stress the need for everyone to be prepared and confident in responding to cardiac emergencies, particularly since three out of four cardiac arrest events occur at home or in private residential locations.

LeBron James’ 18-Year-Old Son Hospitalised After Sudden Cardiac Arrest Incident

LeBron James’ 18-Year-Old Son Hospitalised After Sudden Cardiac Arrest Incident Basketball superstar LeBron James’ 18-year-old son, Bronny James, was rushed to the hospital after experiencing a cardiac arrest during a workout at the University of Southern California. Thankfully, he has been moved out of the ICU and is now in stable condition. According to a spokesperson for the family who spoke with TMZ Sports, the incident occurred while Bronny was practicing, leading medical staff to promptly attend to him and transport him to the hospital. The James family has requested respect and privacy during this time, and further updates will be provided to the media when available. The emergency services received the call at 9.26 am local time and quickly responded to the Galen Centre, where Bronny’s team, the Trojans, trains and plays. Upon arrival, the 18-year-old was found unconscious and received immediate treatment before being taken to the hospital. LeBron James, often regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, has been very supportive of his son’s basketball career. He is often seen in the stands cheering for Bronny, even during the NBA season. LeBron has previously expressed a strong desire to play alongside his son in the NBA before retiring. Despite this dream, broadcaster Stephen A. Smith, an NBA analyst, emphasized that the family’s main concern now is Bronny’s health and well-being. He highlighted LeBron’s reputation as a devoted and loving father, as well as the support and prayers from fellow athletes like Damar Hamlin, Magic Johnson, and Robert Griffin III, who have all sent their best wishes for Bronny’s recovery. As of now, the exact cause of the cardiac arrest remains unknown, but the hope is that the medical team will swiftly identify and address it to ensure Bronny’s complete recovery. The James family appreciates the dedicated work and commitment of the USC medical and athletic staff in caring for their athletes during this challenging time. Source: news.com.au

Investigating Alarming Cardiac Arrest Rates: Researchers Shed Light on Causes in Younger Australians

Investigating Alarming Cardiac Arrest Rates: Researchers Shed Light on Causes in Younger Australians A recent study conducted by the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute has revealed alarming figures surrounding cardiac arrest cases among younger Australians. The research has highlighted the high incidence of sudden cardiac arrest in individuals under 50, prompting concerns about genetic factors and the need for prevention strategies. Laura Aisbett’s personal experience and the institute’s efforts to develop a registry offer hope for understanding and addressing this life-threatening condition. Understanding Cardiac Arrest in Younger Australians Laura Aisbett’s Heartbreaking Loss Laura Aisbett’s world shattered when she discovered her 34-year-old husband, Stuart, lifeless on the floor. His sudden cardiac arrest was a devastating blow, leaving Laura with questions about the cause and concerns for their unborn child. Stuart’s death, classified as an unexplained cardiac death, led Laura on a quest for answers and brought her to the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne. Startling Findings and Research Efforts The Baker Institute’s study examined data from hospital, ambulance, and forensic records of individuals under 50 who experienced cardiac arrest in Victoria between mid-2019 and mid-2021. The findings, published in the journal Europace, revealed that about a quarter of all deaths in this age group during the study period were due to sudden cardiac arrest. This surprising figure exceeded the road toll by more than five times. Researchers discovered that genetic mutations played a significant role in cardiac arrest cases among younger individuals, often without any prior symptoms. The study also noted that a majority of cases occurred during exercise, emphasizing the importance of widespread CPR and defibrillator training to improve survival rates. Investigating Genetic Causes Dr. Rajesh Puranik, a cardiologist from the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, emphasized the need to understand the increased incidence of premature cardiac disease in younger individuals. The Baker Institute is actively contributing to this cause by developing the UCD Registry, which collects blood and DNA samples from young cardiac arrest patients with unexplained causes. The registry aims to identify genetic conditions or mutations associated with an elevated risk of premature cardiac arrest. Laura Aisbett’s husband, Stuart, is among the patients included in the registry, providing hope for future answers and potential preventive measures. The concerning rise in sudden cardiac arrest cases among younger Australians has prompted vital research efforts by the Baker Institute. With a focus on genetic factors, the institute’s registry aims to unravel the underlying causes and identify potential preventive measures. Through ongoing research, the goal is to empower individuals like Laura Aisbett and her daughter, Dulcie, with knowledge that could potentially save lives and mitigate the impact of genetic predispositions. Original story source: ABC News

A Lifesaving Investment: What to Look for When Buying a Reputable Defibrillator

A Lifesaving Investment: What to Look for When Buying a Reputable Defibrillator When it comes to cardiac emergencies, having access to a reliable defibrillator can make the difference between life and death. However, with numerous options available on the market, it’s essential to understand what factors to consider when purchasing a defibrillator. In this article, we explore key features and considerations that can guide you towards investing in a reputable and effective defibrillator. Ease of Use and User-Friendly Design: When selecting a defibrillator, it’s crucial to prioritize ease of use. Look for models with clear and intuitive instructions, visual prompts, and audio guidance to assist both trained medical professionals and bystanders in high-pressure situations. A user-friendly interface, large display screen, and easily accessible buttons contribute to efficient and confident operation. Automated Features and Smart Technology: Modern defibrillators often come equipped with advanced features that enhance their effectiveness. Automated models can analyze the patient’s heart rhythm and deliver shocks automatically if necessary, reducing the need for manual intervention. Additionally, smart technology can provide real-time feedback on the quality of CPR being performed, guiding the rescuer to administer chest compressions effectively. Durability and Portability: Consider the durability and portability of the defibrillator, especially if it will be used in diverse settings or during outdoor activities. Look for robust construction, water-resistant or waterproof capabilities, and sturdy carrying cases. Portable defibrillators should be lightweight and easily transportable, ensuring quick access in emergencies. Maintenance and Training: A reputable defibrillator should be accompanied by accessible maintenance and training support. Regular maintenance checks, including battery and electrode expiration alerts, are essential to ensure the device is ready for use at all times. Additionally, training programs and resources should be readily available, providing comprehensive instruction on device operation, CPR, and emergency response protocols. Regulatory Compliance and Certification: Ensure that the defibrillator you choose complies with relevant regulatory standards and certifications, such as those from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the European Conformity (CE) mark. These certifications validate the device’s safety and performance, providing peace of mind in critical situations. Appropriate Shock Value for Adults: When purchasing a defibrillator, it is vital to consider the shock value it delivers for adult defibrillation. Most modern defibrillators offer variable energy levels, typically ranging from 120 to 200 joules. Higher energy levels may be required for adults with more significant body mass or specific cardiac conditions. Consult with medical professionals or experts to ensure the selected defibrillator provides an appropriate shock value for effective treatment of adult patients. Investing in a reputable defibrillator can significantly improve the chances of survival during cardiac emergencies. By considering factors such as ease of use, automated features, durability, maintenance support, and regulatory compliance, individuals and organizations can make an informed choice when selecting a defibrillator, ultimately saving lives in the process.

Retiree Saves Wife’s Life: Urges Others to Learn CPR in Emotional Reunion with Paramedics

  Retiree Saves Wife’s Life: Urges Others to Learn CPR in Emotional Reunion with Paramedics Retiree Glen Sharrock has a vivid memory of the harrowing moment his wife of nearly 50 years, Marian Sharrock, faced a life-threatening situation right in front of him. In August of last year, after having dinner at their Rockhampton home, Marian sat down in a lounge chair and suddenly “slumped down.” Glen immediately sensed that something was terribly wrong. He remarked, “Marian doesn’t fall asleep that quickly,” realizing that an emergency was unfolding before his eyes. His wife had gone into cardiac arrest. The sight of someone dying before him was a terrifying experience for Glen. He knew that if he didn’t take immediate action, he might lose her. Confirming that Marian wasn’t breathing and had no pulse, he wasted no time and promptly dialed an ambulance. Placing Marian on the floor, Glen started performing CPR, determined to do whatever he could to save her life. Meanwhile, he handed the phone to his son Ben, who relayed instructions from the triple-0 operator, offering reassurance that they were on the right track. Glen continued administering CPR for a grueling 15 minutes until paramedics arrived on the scene, ready to take over and utilize a defibrillator. Expressing her profound gratitude, Marian declared, “I wouldn’t be here without this man [Glen]… every time I look at this man, it’s just love.” Now, nearly a year after the incident, the couple is urging others to learn CPR and first aid. Glen, who had previously completed courses every six months during his time at work, stresses the importance of these life-saving skills. Recently, the Sharrocks met with the paramedics and the emergency medical dispatcher who guided them during the triple-0 call, extending their heartfelt appreciation. “It only takes five minutes to save a life,” emphasized Glen. Marian has made a complete recovery since the ordeal, with a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted in her chest. Reflecting on the incident, Glen acknowledged that although he knew what to do, having reassurance and professional guidance proved immensely helpful. The emergency medical dispatcher, Kim Hammond, who provided advice during the triple-0 call, commended Glen’s preparedness and swift actions. She highlighted the significance of remaining calm, dialing triple-0, and initiating CPR in such situations. Ms. Hammond stressed the importance of early intervention, emphasizing that starting CPR as soon as possible is crucial. She encouraged people to take action even if they’re unsure of the precise steps, asserting that any form of compression is better than no action at all. To commemorate the one-year anniversary of her life being saved by her husband, Mrs. Sharrock will be going on a beach holiday with Mr. Sharrock next month. The couple, who are proud grandparents, also has plans to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next year.

12 year old suffers cardiac arrest at birthday party

Twelve-year-old Noah Lekias experienced a life-threatening situation when he suffered cardiac arrest at a friend’s birthday party. Thanks to the quick actions of a friend who pulled him out of the pool and prevented him from drowning, Noah’s life was saved. While panicked parents performed CPR until paramedics arrived, Noah endured three more cardiac arrests before being placed in a medically induced coma upon arrival at the hospital. Noah’s mother, Fiona, shared the ordeal, stating that he remained in a coma for approximately a day before doctors brought him out of it. He stayed in the hospital for about a week due to short-term memory loss, ensuring his readiness for discharge. The diagnosis revealed that Noah had long QT syndrome, a type of congenital heart disease characterized by a heart signaling disorder that can lead to rapid and irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias). Essentially, his heart beats too quickly for his body to handle, Fiona explained. The initial days following Noah’s diagnosis were incredibly challenging for the Lekias family. Fiona expressed their fear and the subsequent extensive research they conducted, as it was the only thing they could do at that point. Fortunately, with the help of medications, Noah was able to enjoy a few relatively normal teenage years. However, in 2020, he underwent a significant heart surgery aimed at addressing his condition. During the surgery, five nerves were extracted from Noah’s heart, leading to some complications, including nerve damage. As a result, Noah had to take an extended break from school for several months. Describing the procedure, he mentioned that surgeons had to cut certain veins to slow down his heart rate. The surgery caused him a considerable amount of chronic pain. Now, at the age of 16, Noah is thriving and has a strong desire to raise awareness about his condition. While he has experienced a few minor episodes, he generally leads a good life. Fiona admires her son’s unwavering positivity, emphasizing that he never complains about anything and remains optimistic. Although he still copes with chronic pain resulting from nerve damage, Noah continues to embrace life and enjoy being a typical 16-year-old boy. Source: 7News

Push for compulsory defibrillators at sporting clubs

Calls Grow for Mandatory Defibrillators in Community Sport Settings, Urging Victorian Government to Take Action Source: Herald Sun St John Ambulance Victoria (SJAV) has launched a campaign demanding the mandatory installation of defibrillators in community sport settings throughout the state. The move aims to save lives by providing immediate aid in cases of on-field cardiac arrests. Support for this initiative comes from the Ambulance Union, cardiovascular patients, and AFL Victoria. According to SJAV Chief Executive Gordon Botwright, having a defibrillator on the sidelines can make the difference between life and death. He emphasized that equipping sporting clubs with defibrillators is a crucial investment in public health, ensuring the accessibility and availability of these life-saving devices in the community. Citing South Australia as an example, where a bill was passed last year mandating defibrillator installation in various public settings, including community sporting clubs, by 2025, Botwright called for similar prioritization of public safety in Victoria. While the New South Wales (NSW) government has not mandated defibrillators in sporting settings, it has allocated $2 million to a local sport defibrillator grants program, active from 2022 to 2026. Victoria previously ran a similar program specific to defibrillators, but the application period for clubs closed in December 2017. Responding to inquiries, a spokesperson for the Andrews government mentioned that local clubs could still seek financial assistance to purchase defibrillators through the general “sporting club grants” program, which covers a wide range of club necessities, including uniforms and skill development. However, defibrillator batteries and pads typically require replacement every two to five years, rendering the devices provided through the government program that ended in 2017 outdated. The government did not comment on the possibility of mandating defibrillator usage or establishing protocols to ensure their regular renewal. This call for mandatory defibrillators follows an incident involving Jojo Ofosu-Amaah, a Keysborough footballer who suffered a midgame cardiac arrest in April during an away match against Skye. The initial defibrillation attempt failed due to a faulty device, but he survived due to the presence of a second defibrillator and witness CPR. Ofosu-Amaah expressed disbelief that an 11-year-old defibrillator was available while a functioning one was not. He stressed the need for defibrillators at every sports ground, regular accessibility checks, and penalties for non-compliance on game days. Gordon Botwright added that the simple task of checking the battery status and expiration dates of defibrillator pads may have been overlooked in recent years due to lockdowns disrupting local sports activities. He urged authorities to prioritize these essential checks, emphasizing their crucial role in ensuring the preparedness of the device to save lives. Data from SJAV revealed that only 1.45% of sudden cardiac arrest victims in Victoria receive bystander defibrillation. Cardiac arrest cases increased by 5.8% in Victoria during 2021-22 compared to the previous year. When shocked first by a public defibrillator, patients had a 50% chance of survival, compared to 27% when waiting for paramedics. Danny Hill, Victorian Ambulance Union Secretary, highlighted the importance of quick defibrillation, as paramedics’ response times can significantly impact outcomes. He emphasized that having someone trained in CPR with access to a defibrillator greatly increases the chances of survival, particularly in sporting settings where many cardiac arrests occur. Stuart Goddard, a Traralgon man who experienced a sudden cardiac arrest while preparing to play football, emphasized the importance of widespread availability of defibrillators. Goddard, who now has a defibrillator implanted.

Melbourne: Teenage basketballer recovering from cardiac arrest

A month after suffering cardiac arrest during basketball training, a teenage prodigy from Melbourne is making a remarkable recovery. Jasper Wickes, 16, collapsed and started seizing during a session at Hoop Culture in Carrum Downs, witnessed by a stunned crowd. He had no previously diagnosed medical conditions, and his coach Hayden Jardine immediately recognised something was wrong. Jardine performed mouth-to-mouth on Wickes while checking his heart rate and calling triple-0. GoodSAM app user Jess Purcell arrived and performed chest compressions on Wickes until paramedics arrived. Wickes was fitted with a pacemaker a few days after the incident and spent 15 days in hospital. He has since been discharged and returned to training, with Jardine handing over the reins to him as coach. Wickes said he felt very supported, and was thankful for the help he received. His mother Simone thanked everyone involved in saving her son’s life, including Fire Rescue Victoria, Advanced Life Support paramedics, and Ambulance Victoria Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) paramedics and MICA student Chloe Abel. Abel said Wickes was incredibly lucky that everything aligned to save his life. She added that Wickes had shown good signs of stability after his cardiac arrest and had made a quick recovery.

9 year old boy suffers cardiac arrest in Australia

9 year old boy suffers cardiac arrest in Australia   A 9-year-old child is currently in a critical but stable state after being hit by lightning while swimming at a beach south of Sydney. According to New South Wales Ambulance, the child went into cardiac arrest shortly before 5:30 PM on Thursday at Barrack Point in Warilla, near Shellharbur. Surf life savers performed CPR until paramedics arrived and took over, resuscitating the child before transporting him to the Children’s Hospital at Westmead with chest burns. The hospital has reported that the child remains in a critical but stable condition. A local doctor was on the beach at the time of the incident and quickly jumped in to assist the paramedics with CPR. The ambulance officers continued resuscitation on the young boy and were able to revive his heartbeat and breathing. A helicopter was dispatched to rush the child to the hospital, but due to severe weather conditions, including lightning strikes and heavy rain, an airlift was not possible. The child was instead transported by an intensive care ambulance to Westmead.

Lisa Marie Presley suffers second cardiac arrest before passing

Lisa Marie Presley suffers second cardiac arrest before passing Photo; Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic Lisa Marie Presley experienced a second cardiac arrest after being hospitalised, and her family is waiting for the results of toxicology tests. New details have emerged regarding the death of Lisa Marie Presley, who passed away after suffering a second cardiac arrest while hospitalised. The 54-year-old singer was found unresponsive in her California home and was rushed to the hospital, where she was placed into an induced coma. Due to her critical condition, her family signed a do-not-resuscitate order. Despite an “epinephrine” shot being administered to regain her pulse, her heart stopped beating a second time while in the hospital. An autopsy has been conducted, but the official cause of death is pending toxicology results. Presley’s mother, Priscilla, issued a statement confirming her daughter’s death and asking for privacy as the family deals with this profound loss. News of her death has sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry, with celebrities taking to social media to pay tribute to the singer and daughter of Elvis Presley. Source: Sky News

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Operating in Australia since 1999, Cardiac Defibrillators extends lives by supplying the public and healthcare professionals with life-saving automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

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