How a defib helped save a 10-year-old’s life

Press Release

Ten-year-old Noah was at his mate’s birthday party in the rural WA town of Redfield Park, splashing in the pool with his friends.

Having been prone to seizures, Noah recognised that something was wrong while playing, and told his friend Harrison before collapsing in the water. His fast-thinking friend kept his head above water and yelled out for help. Noah was quickly dragged out of the pool by the parents who were hosting the birthday. His condition deteriorated rapidly, as he fell unconscious and stopped breathing. The parents dialled triple zero, CPR was commenced and off-duty volunteer ambulance officer Susy Wright was on the scene minutes later.

The Redfield community has a defibrillator located at their First Aid Post, which was registered with the St John Ambulance’s community First Responder program. An ambulance was dispatched to the scene and a volunteer retrieved the defibrillator from the First Aid post, which was then applied to Noah. Relief quickly followed, as Noah’s pulse and breathing returned. Noah was rushed Priority 1 by the Woodridge volunteer ambulance crew, and they were met by Merriwa paramedics who took over the transport to Joondalup Health Campus. Noah went into cardiac arrest a second time at Joondalup, where he was again revived by doctors in the Emergency Department.

Thankfully Noah has fully recovered from the incident and has since returned home. St John Ambulance Community First Responder manager Sally Simmonds said it was a combination of effective CPR and the use of the defibrillator on scene that was instrumental in saving Noah’s life.

“There’s no doubt that the fact that effective CPR was started immediately following Noah’s collapse and the defibrillator was brought to scene a few minutes later all contributed to this incredible outcome,” she said.

“This story also highlights the amazing volunteers we have in our communities who were also key to the positive result and the happy ending to this story.”

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