St John urges everyone to learn how to Restart a Heart

Press Release

St John Ambulance WA is joining the international Restart a Heart Day movement today, Monday, October 16 to train the nation in life saving CPR skills.

In order to make the most of this opportunity for people to learn and practice CPR, St John is running a number of events around Perth where people can undertake the training and equip themselves to “restart a heart” and save a life.

St John CEO Tony Ahern said cardiac arrest was a leading cause of death, with St John attending around three cardiac arrests per day in WA.

“We know that early CPR and defibrillation can have a dramatic impact in survivability – in some cases someone receiving CPR can be five times more likely to survive, “Mr Ahern said.

For patients of St John, there is some good news relating to this data. In the past three years the organisation has seen the number of people surviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrest increase by 75 per cent.

Mr Ahern said this can be attributed to several factors, including more AEDs (defibrillators) in the community, improvements in bystander CPR, a focus on cardiac arrest within the St John ambulance service and improvements in the care of these patients once they reach hospital.

The public has played a large role in this with many more people taking up training and getting ‘hands-on’ by providing CPR and defibrillation.

The latest innovation in the push to save more lives is the St John Community First Responder smartphone app. The app allows qualified first aiders to sign up as a first responder and receive notifications via the app when someone has called 000 for an ambulance within 500 metres of their current location.

On Restart a Heart Day St John will train hundreds of people in CPR — with sessions being held in Perth schools and shopping centres.

“We believe first aid should be a part of everyone’s life which is why we are training adults and children over the course of this week,” Mr Ahern said.

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