The first public access Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) was recently purchased and installed by the Lions Club of KI on the outside wall of Drakes Foodland supermarket in Commercial Street, Kingscote.
The cabinet has an alarm and flashing red light when the AED is required, and the door is opened. When the pack inside is opened, simple voice-activated instructions give a clear message on the order of operations.
Every year over 30,000 Australians die of unexpected cardiac arrest. Survival rates in Australia remain poor (less than 10 per cent); this contrasts to rates in locations such as Seattle, USA, where survival approaches 70 per cent.
This difference is not due to advanced medical interventions, but instead due to the vital first steps in the ‘chain of survival’ - early bystander CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and early use of a defibrillator.
KI has now become a ‘HeartSafe’ community - a global open access project to train community members in CPR and to ensure provision of Public Access Defibrillators.
In a collaboration between local clinicians, community groups and other organisations, HeartSafeKI is committed to giving community and visitors alike the best chance of survival in case of sudden cardiac death.
HeartSafeKI organises training in hands-only CPR, can demystify use of a defibrillator (AED) and can help facilitate placement of AEDs in public places.
Many sports and community groups have already purchased an AED and undergone vital CPR training. Last year a community member was successfully revived by his team mates on the bowling green - such CPR training and use of an AED is vital to fill the void before an ambulance arrives.
Many AEDs are kept locked up. In the event of a sudden cardiac death outside of operating hours, no help is available unless we make as many KI community members as possible competent in CPR and to make AEDS available 24/7.
Parndana Sports Club has led the way with an AED available all hours.
Kingscote now has a Public Access Defibrillator thanks to the efforts of KI Lions Club.
The Lions Club is supportive of other community organisations having ownership and appreciates the donations given to the Op Shop ladies and the second-hand goods mart, which enable their volunteers to support such community projects.
KI Council plan to make their existing AEDs In Kingscote and Penneshaw available 24/7.
HeartSafeKI will work with community groups, organisations and individuals to help facilitate CPR training, purchase, placement and use of an AED and to maintain a register of AEDs across KI. Anyone interested in community CPR training, or considering purchase of an AED (ideally available 24/7) is encouraged to contact HeartSafeKI. Working together may lead to cost-savings in purchasing AEDs.
Contact: facebook.com/heartsafeki. @heartsafeKI. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.