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

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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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