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Is your heart safe at work?

This World Day for Safety and Health at Work, St John Ambulance NSW is promoting the importance of defibrillators in the hope that one day, every workplace in Australia will be equipped with the life-saving device.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a leading cause of death in Australia. Every year, around 25,000 people experience a Sudden Cardiac Arrest out of hospital, with a current survival rate of 5 per cent.

If a defibrillator is used within the first two to three minutes of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest, the chance of survival increases to 70 per cent.

St John Ambulance NSW advocates for defibrillators to be considered a critical item in every workplace, and encourage people to ensure their defibrillators are in working order.

A recent survey from St John Ambulance Australia showed that:

  • Only 8 per cent of Australians deemed a defibrillator the most important item to have in the workplace. Paper and pens climbed higher on the list.
  • One third (28 per cent) of Australians don’t know what a Sudden Cardiac Arrest is.
  • 78 per cent of Australians don’t think people under 45 years old can experience a Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
  • 61 per cent of Australians claim their office either doesn’t have a defibrillator or they don’t know where it’s kept.
  • 58 per cent of Australians say they wouldn’t feel confident using a defibrillator, with reasons being that they haven’t had training in first aid (54 per cent), they find it too complicated to use (24 per cent) and they worry they might hurt the person (22 per cent).

Sarah Lance, CEO of St John Ambulance NSW says, “We know that quick bystander intervention can improve cardiac arrest survival rates. Defibrillators should be considered a necessity in any workplace so that in the event of an emergency staff can act quickly and with confidence.

“Defibrillators are simple and designed so that anyone can use them – even if you never have before. The key is for them to be accessible, checked regularly, and used when needed.”

World Day for Safety and Health at Work on April 28 is an important time to consider discussing with your workplace the importance of a working defibrillator, and to recommend first aid training for you, and your co-workers.

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