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Heart of the Nation wants to upskill 20,000 community responders

A charity set up by former Yellow Wiggle Greg Page has launched a national campaign to educate 20,000 Australians on how to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Heart of the Nation provides the CPR and AED training free asking only that people sign on with the Heart of the Nation app and joining the community responder program.

“By the end of 2023 we want to grow our Heart of the Nation Community Responders by an additional 20,000 Australians who are willing and able to act in cardiac arrest emergencies,’ Mr Page said. “You don’t need to have a qualification or a certificate to perform CPR or use an AED in order to try and save a life – anyone can step up and do it.?”

Page knows firsthand what it’s like to go into cardiac arrest. In 2022, he collapsed onstage during a Wiggles reunion fundraising concert for bushfire relief. Greg survived thanks to bystanders quickly locating an available AED and using it to perform CPR to stabilise his heart until ambulance officers arrived.

“When someone’s heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, time is critical,” he said. “Action is required before the arrival of paramedics by the general community. Research shows that when cardiac arrest occurs outside of hospital, in just 6 per cent of cases an AED will be sourced from a community setting in time to help save a life, and that an AED will only be used to deliver a shock prior to a paramedic’s arrival, in less than half of those cases (2.4 per cent). We want to be part of increasing this statistic by supporting all community members to be more aware and more confident to act. This is an integral part of what we refer to as the Chain of Survival.”

Sudden cardiac arrest (when someone is unconscious and not breathing) is a major killer globally, and in Australia each year affects around 28,000 people but 90 per cent do not survive. Regardless of why a cardiac arrest has occurred, the response is always CALL PUSH SHOCK. The role of CPR is critical to keep the person alive (keeping oxygen to their brain) but a shock from an AED is required to attempt to reset the patient’s heartbeat for their greatest chance of successful resuscitation.

To help increase survival rates, Heart of the Nation is asking for all Australians to tell themselves: You Can Save a Life!

But how?

The Heart of the Nation App allows you to register as a community responder. It can connect you to Ambulance Services (by calling 000), alert nearby responders when a cardiac arrest is in progress notifying them of the event so they can assist with CPR and deliver an available AED and provide a map of local and accessible AEDs. This is a communication platform that means the community is not only connected to life saving AEDs, but now can be connected to each other, ultimately saving time, and increasing the person’s chance of survival.

As part of the registration process, you will receive free education about how to do CPR and use an AED. This training is designed to ensure you are more educated and aware of what cardiac arrest is and to be more confident to act. Everyone has the ability to help save a life and all efforts dramatically increase the person’s chance of survival.

This app is a technology solution modelled on global research, including studies that show that apps such as this can increase survival by up to 2-3 times. This means that instead of a survival rate of 10 per cent, within a few years, we could see survival rates increase to 20-30 per cent. With the use of this app, an additional 3,000 to 6,000 people each year may be able to go home to their families. The more people that use the app, the more chance there is that a nearby responder will receive your call for help.

Heart of the Nation has recently been recognised for its use of technology by winning the 2023 IoT Health Award, to provide a publicly accessible, central repository of data about Automated External Defibrillators in Australia, including to help track their use.

Heart of the Nation is a leading advocate in Australia for making AEDs more visible, available and accessible in the community. It also continues to work with government and industry partners to ensure lifesaving data is linked to emergency services and available to community members. Continued work is being undertaken to ensure that data is linked to Ambulance services across Australia.

If you believe you could help save a life, join Heart of the Nation’s army of community responders. Head to the App Store or Google Play and download to your mobile device. Simply upload a few details and submit a photograph of yourself holding your photo ID so the charity can verify your identity for the safety of all users.

See for more information.

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