WA cricket stars learn St John first aid following Warne, Marsh and Campbell heart attacks

Press Release
  • Every minute someone’s heart is not pushing oxygen around their body and brain the chances of survival drop by 10 per cent.
  • Nine out of 10 people won’t survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
  • Eighty percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in people’s homes.
  • After 10 minutes without intervention the damage caused by cardiac arrest is nearly irreversible.

St John WA has answered the call of Australian cricket stars seeking to improve first aid among former, present and aspiring cricketers in light of recent heart attacks in the sport.

This year, famous Australian cricketers Shane Warne and Rod Marsh died of suspected heart attacks, while Ryan Campbell came dangerously close in April but first aid saved his life.

“If you actually get a chance to do a first aid course, make sure you do because you never know you could be the one to help someone out,” Campbell told reporters in May, shortly after his recovery.

Former international cricket star Michael Hussey partnered with Campbell during his debut Sheffield Shield matches in the 1996-1997 season.

“So grateful really for the young girl who was at the London Park with him and could do the CPR and virtually saved his life,” Hussey told Nine News exclusively.

“It sort of really hit home, I need to get my skills back up to speed as well.”

This month, Hussey together with fellow WA cricket legends Adam Voges, Kade Harvey, Wayne Clark, Graeme Wood, Ross Edwards and Peter Capes took part in first aid conducted by St John WA senior trainer Hayden Clark in order to improve their skills and raise awareness.

“You just don’t know when it’s gonna happen and if you can just do something to help – I think it’s important that everybody makes the effort,” Wayne Clark told Nine News.

Ross Edwards played all his cricket with Rod Marsh.

“One wonders if there had been somebody in the car or with him when that happened he might have been saved,” he said.     

St John responds to about 2500 out of hospital cardiac arrests a year, but sadly most go unnoticed as 80 per cent occur in people’s homes.

In 2020, St John WA attended 2698 OHCA cases of which 40 per cent were attempted to be resuscitated. Thankfully almost 80 per cent of those were getting CPR from witnesses to the event before St John paramedics arrived.

SJWA delivered 224 OHCA patients with a pulse to hospital and of the 128 OHCA survivors, four were children aged 15 or younger.

It is because of these sad statistics, St John WA offers free first aid in schools and communities which install St John issued defibrillators to vastly improve survival rates for cardiac arrest patients.

St John WA First Aid Training Manager Ross Pratt said first aid was vital to helping ambulance services save lives.

“Along with our Youth and Community Trainers more than 338,000 people were trained in first aid in WA this year, including school children starting as young as year 1,” he said.

“St John offers 8000 first aid courses a year across the state for ages ranging from 16 to 79, which has resulted in 89,400 getting qualified this year alone.

“St John WA’s Restart a Heart Day on October 16 challenges people to share their CPR training on social media using the #9for9 hashtag and tag nine others,” he said.

“We urge people to get behind it as it helps raise awareness for the nine out of 10 people who don’t survive out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.”

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