Only 1 in 10 people survive sudden cardiac arrest
Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in Australia with less than a 10% survival rate.
Having an automated external defibrillator (AED) or “defib” in your workplace, community club or home could make the difference between life and death. They are easy to use and maintain, and can help save a life prior to an ambulance arriving.
How does an AED work?
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) can happen to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest is not a heart attack; a heart attack is a problem with the plumbing of the heart. In a heart attack one or more of the arteries delivering blood to the heart is blocked, so oxygen in the blood cannot reach the heart muscle and the heart muscle is damaged.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest occurs because of an electrical problem in the heart. Just like a pump needs an energy source to work, the heart’s pumping mechanism is driven by electrical signals. With a Sudden Cardiac Arrest, the electrical signals to the pump become erratic.
Defibrillation is a process of restoring the heart’s normal rhythm and is crucial in the first minutes following Sudden Cardiac Arrest to maximise the chance of a casualty’s survival. Modern AEDs analyse the person’s heart rhythm and determine whether defibrillation is required.
Early access to defibrillation (an electric shock to the heart) can be a life saving measure in the event of a person suffering a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. To have the absolute best chance of survival, defibrillation must be carried out in the first few minutes after a person suffers a Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
Once activated, the AED delivers clear voice instructions to guide users through each step of defibrillation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Integrated pads placed on the person’s bare skin transmit information to the AED, which senses and adapts to the user’s actions every step of the way.