Learn CPR to help save lives

Thursday, 24 July, 2008

Canberrans have been called on to help save lives by learning CPR or undertaking a refresher course as part of a new ACT Ambulance Service CPR awareness campaign.

"Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the developed world. Sudden cardiac arrest is responsible for more than 60% of adult deaths from coronary artery disease," said Minister for Police and Emergency Services Simon Corbell.

"In most areas of Australia, survival from sudden cardiac arrest is low, generally no more than 10 to 20%. A critical factor in increasing survival from a sudden heart attack is the application of prompt, effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

"Within the ACT, less than 40% of sudden cardiac arrest victims have effective CPR implemented. Having effective CPR rapidly applied almost doubles the likelihood of survival compared to those who have no CPR,” he said.

The ACT Ambulance Service CPR Awareness Campaign will feature a series of radio and print advertisements for the next two weeks. An easy-to-follow instructional CPR flow chart has also been produced for distribution through Canberra Connect shops and ACT public libraries.

"ACT Ambulance Service statistics show the most likely location for sudden cardiac arrest in the ACT is in a private home," Corbell said.

"It is a condition that affects mainly older members of our community, more commonly males. Knowledge of CPR among older people is significantly lower than across the wider community.”

For more information about learning CPR or to download an instructional CPR Flow Chart, go to the ACT Ambulance Service website.


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