RESIDENTS now have access to defibrillators in Woolworths stores at Bulli, Corrimal and Fairy Meadow to assist in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.
Woolworths Northern Illawarra Group Manager, Lisa Ingram said Automated External Defibrillators (AED) are designed to to be used by anyone, with clear step-by-step voice instructions that can guide members of the public through the process.
“You never know when a sudden cardiac arrest might strike and in the unfortunate event that it does, having the local community able to access this treatment, could help to save lives,” she said.
“The best medical advice tells us that access to an AED early on can greatly increase the chance of survival.”
An estimated 20,000, Australians suffer a cardiac arrest outside a hospital every year. The survival rate if you have a cardiac arrest outside of hospital is approximately 10 per cent.
Deputy Executive Director, Professor Jamie Vandenberg from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute said as the statistics suggest, sudden cardiac arrests are usually fatal if action isn’t taken immediately.
“It’s critical all Australians are equipped with the skills to act quickly in these circumstances; the first 3-5 minutes holds the key to survival,” Prof Vandenberg said.
“Access to a defibrillator can mean the difference between saving or losing a life. A sudden cardiac arrest occurs when there is an electrical problem with the heart. A defibrillator delivers a therapeutic dose of electrical currents to the heart, giving a person their best chance of survival.
“Unfortunately, there are often no warning signs for a cardiac arrest, and it can happen to young people as well as older people regardless of gender. This Woolworths initiative is critical for local communities in the case of an emergency – you never know when you could be someone’s only hope of making it home to their family.”
The defibrillators installed in Northern Illawarra Woolworths are supplied by Winc, in partnership with Integrity Health & Safety, Australia’s first indigenous provider of work health and safety products, which will also enable a positive social impact.