STUDENTS at Dubbo South Public School learnt potentially life-saving skills on Monday as part of a world record attempt for the most people trained in CPR in a 24-hour period.
Fifty NSW Ambulance paramedics joined charity Take Heart Australia in a day designed to raise awareness of early CPR, using mannequins to train people how to provide immediate CPR and to use defibrillators.
NSW Ambulance Director of Education Alan Morrison said the minutes between when triple-0 was called and paramedics arrived were crucial.
“It’s a medical fact that the sooner CPR starts, the greater the chance of survival for a patient suffering a heart attack or cardiac arrest,” he said.
“Paramedics see on a daily basis cases where CPR could have saved someone’s life had it been started earlier. We also see the other side, where early CPR intervention has proven to be what’s saved a person’s life.”
He said in Australia, more than 50,000 people suffered a cardiac arrest every year - equal to one person every 10 minutes, and the first five minutes were vital in the chances of survival.
“A person’s risk of dying increases by 10 per cent every minute defibrillation is delayed after their heart stops beating. If defibrillation is used quickly however, it can improve the survival rate by up to 75 per cent,” Mr Morrison said.
“Although defibrillation has been shown to give the best chance of survival, currently only 2 per cent of cardiac arrest casualties in NSW are treated by a bystander with a defibrillator.
“NSW Ambulance encourages everyone to take a first aid course and learn CPR through an accredited provider.
“It’s vital to call triple-0 for ambulance for suspected heart attack. Triple-0 call takers are qualified and will help you begin CPR in the minutes before the paramedics arrive.”
Staff from the Royal Flying Doctor Service South Eastern (RFDS SE) section’s Dubbo base also attended the event at Dubbo South Public School.
RFDS SE general manager health services Linda Culter said CPR was an especially important skill for those who lived on remote or rural properties who may be first responders in an emergency where it might take time for professional help to arrive.
“Knowing how to handle such a situation could make a positive difference to the patient’s long-term health and clinical status, which is why we are supporting Take Heart Australia Day,” she said.