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Every year, over 30,000 Australians suffer a sudden cardiac arrest with less than 7 per cent surviving. However, a nearby defibrillator and CPR can increase the survival rate to over 65 per cent!

Paradoxically, while one has 100 times more chances of dying from a sudden cardiac arrest than in a fire, fire equipment is prevalent everywhere in buildings – but far too few defibrillators, if any.

Yet these devices are highly affordable (from $1,400 equating to only $175 pa before tax) and can be safely and intuitively used by any untrained bystander.

THE ORIGINAL Yellow Wiggle, Greg Page, recently suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while performing and survived due to a nearby defibrillator and quick-acting bystanders. The same happened to superbly fit Danish soccer player, Christian Eriksen, and to Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul TV actor, Bob Odenkirk.

Sadly, however, cricket legend, Shane Warne, and Federal Labor Senator, Kimberley Kitching, weren’t so lucky.

Best practice is to have deployed a defibrillator within a three-minute round trip of a victim of a sudden cardiac arrest – the time it takes to retrieve the device and administer a shock in time to save a life.

NSW Ambulance Commissioner, Dominic Morgan, said people should know that defibrillators are “absolutely not” just for medically trained people to use. “They are there for anyone to use, they are totally safe, they will not defibrillate the patient unless the machine recognises it” he said. Dr Morgan said it was sadly “uncommon” for paramedics to arrive at the scene of a cardiac arrest to find a defibrillator on site, and he would like to see more venues invest in one.

When it comes to treating cardiac arrests, “time is of the essence”, he said. “Every minute that your heart is stopped the chances of surviving the event reduce by 7-10 per cent. So, what that means in practice is if we’re 10 minutes away there’s a very, very low likelihood of people surviving.”

He said the survival rate for cardiac arrests outside hospital could be greatly improved if more defibrillators were available, along with people willing to jump in and try CPR.

Founder of Integrity Health & Safety, Liam Harte, agrees with the Commissioner from first-hand experience as an intensive care paramedic with NSW Ambulance for many years.

Harte said: “We arrived too late to save too many victims of sudden cardiac arrest. So, I and a colleague, Brad Goodwin, started Integrity Health & Safety, a certified Indigenous owned supplier of wellbeing and workplace health and safety products and services with a focus on defibrillators.

If you visit any one of over a thousand Woolworths supermarkets nationally, you’ll see our defibrillators prominently placed which have already had more than 14 ‘saves’. Similarly, we have supplied leading brand defibrillators to Commonwealth Bank, DFAT, ATO and Lendlease to name a few.”

“We are proud of our Social Impact Commitment whereby we fund Aboriginal nurses for CPR, first aid, flu vaccination and leadership courses to assist build healthcare capability in their communities and farther afield.” Harte continued.

SAFETY is at the core of everything Property Managers do as your clients (and staff) trust you to provide a safe working and living environment.

It’s now time for leading Property Managers to take the initiative and speak to their clients about deploying these life-saving devices. Who knows? The life saved could be that of a family member, friend, colleague, customer or… yours.

Integrity Health & Safety, Level 2, 27 Cope St, Redfern, NSW 2016