30,000 Australians die from sudden cardiac arrest each year, effecting up to 4 people each week under the age of 35.
Far more lethal and unpredictable than a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest is the largest cause of death in Australia. It can strike anyone at any time or age, but the critical message is that death is preventable when an automated external defibrillator (AED) is available nearby.
Despite being otherwise healthy and highly active, 39 year old father of two Brett Orpwood suffered a sudden cardiac arrest in December 2017. “I owe my life to the spontaneous actions and courage of the first responders and defibrillator granted by Maroondah Council” he said. You can hear more about Brett’s experience first hand here.
Our workplaces and communities are prepared for injury or fire, with compulsory First Aid Kits and Fire Extinguishers in place. Yet despite the rate of death from cardiac arrest far exceeding those from fire emergencies each year, AED’s are not currently compulsory in Australia.
According to St John Ambulance only one in five workplaces in NSW alone, have a defibrillator on site.
In 2018 the Australian Hearts campaign was launched by doctors, paramedics, nurses, not-for-profits and everyday people, united by the goal of seeing that 90% of Australians are within three minutes of an AED, in the event of a cardiac arrest.