October is nationally recognised as Defibrillation Awareness Month or most commonly known as “Shoctober”.
It is a national campaign in Australia that aims to raise awareness of using and placing defibrillators in workplaces and public spaces due to the alarming number of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) cases.
What is a Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
Sudden cardiac arrest is an electrical problem in the heart in which there is an abrupt loss of heart function. It occurs when there is an unexpected electrical abnormality to the heart, interrupting the normal blood flow to the brain and other vital organs throughout the body.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest can be fatal if not treated within the first few minutes of the attack.
Facts about SCA:
- Sudden Cardiac arrest remains the leading cause of mortality in Australia, where only 1 in every 10 people survives an attack.
- About 90% of people who experience cardiac arrest in an out-of-hospital setting die.
- For every minute CPR and AED are delayed, the survival rate decreases by 10%.
- Bystander CPR and bystander AED use can double the chances of survival.
- SCA strikes people of all ages, but it most commonly occurs to older people and individuals with underlying health issues.
As mentioned, SCA is the leading cause of death in Australia. It accounts for between 23,000 and 33,000 Australian deaths every year. SCA recorded deaths is more than breast cancer, shootings, and road accidents combined. That is about two busloads of people dying every day – and we can’t even begin to imagine that.
There is no perfect time than October to talk about this disease and explore ways to decrease the number of death cases. This Shoctober, let’s promote the importance of properly installed and monitored public AEDs to potentially save lives.
What is an AED?
An AED or automated external defibrillator is a small portable medical device used to deliver an electric shock to a person who is having a sudden cardiac arrest—often used in First Aid applications to assist with manual CPR to restart the victim’s heart.
In a sudden cardiac arrest, a defibrillator on hand can save lives and prevent lifelong disabilities. The time-sensitive nature of SCA highlights just how important it is to have publicly accessible AEDs. The chances of survival can go from 5% up to 70% when a shock from AED and CPR is applied in the first minutes of the attack.
AEDs are easy to use, maintain and will only administer a shock when it is needed. The device will provide automated heart rhythm analysis and voice prompts, making it easier for you or any bystander to step up and help in a sudden cardiac arrest emergency.
Now is the perfect time for us to be educated and reduce needless deaths from sudden cardiac arrest. This Shoctober, let’s continue to promote awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest is and its harmful effect on Australian communities. Let’s promote the importance of defibrillator awareness and First Aid intervention.
We are encouraging different Australian organisations, workplaces, and individuals to show they care about Cardiac Arrest Survival by hosting or participating in defibrillator training events near you.
Or, start learning how to use an AED through First Aid Training.
First Aid Training will give you an opportunity to practice CPR with our manikins and learn how to properly use a defibrillator. You will gain the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to save a life.
Participate in SHOCTOBER 2020, and together, let’s help beat cardiac arrest!
Find out more at www.shoctober.org.au.