An AED is used to deliver a shock to help restore normal heart rhythm following a cardiac arrest.
“The use of public AEDs has nearly doubled in the last ten years; anyone can use an AED, regardless of whether they have received training to do so,” David said.
“If someone is in cardiac arrest and an AED is available, simply open it and follow the verbal instructions. They are safe and easy to use and will not deliver a shock unless it is necessary.”
Every day, around 19 Victorians suffer a cardiac arrest and sadly only 1 in 10 survive.
“That’s why we want as many people as possible to learn basic CPR and to become one of our amazing GoodSAM Responders,” David said.
GoodSAM is a life-saving app that connects patients in cardiac arrest with a nearby volunteer who is willing to start hands-on CPR while an ambulance is on the way.
Responders only receive an alert if they are close to the person in cardiac arrest. They are given the address of the patient, along with the location of the closest AED (if one is available), so that they can begin lifesaving care while an ambulance is enroute.
“Anyone can save a life by going to heartrestarter.com.au and signing up as a GoodSAM Responder today. You don’t have to have experience or a medical background, you just have to be willing and able to do hands-on CPR, be over 18 years of age and have access to a smartphone,” David said.
To celebrate Shocktober, a month-long nationally-recognised campaign aimed at improving cardiac arrest survival rates, Victoria’s 12 new Heart Safe Communities are running Call, Push, Shock information sessions throughout October.
Several events are also being held as part of the annual Restart a Heart Day global initiative (Sunday October 16), a worldwide campaign to encourage people to learn CPR and how to use an AED.
Thanks to the Heart Safe Community program, over the last two years, more than 150 AEDs were registered on the AV AED Register. Of these, 91 are accessible 24/7 by members of the public.
There are already 20 Heart Safe Community locations in Victoria. This includes three pilot sites at Tatura, Inverloch and Bellarine and 17 sites that graduated in June 2022: Rosedale, Mallacoota, Euroa, Beechworth, Healesville, Red Hill, Port Fairy, Terang, Camperdown, Queenscliff, Murtoa, Clunes, Smythesdale, Boort, Donald, Robinvale and Murrayville.
For information about AV’s Shocktober campaign visit www.ambulance.vic.gov.au/shocktober/