More than 4000 Kiwis have signed up to offer bystander CPR through the GoodSAM Responder App and more are sought this Restart a Heart Day.
Emergency services hope to beat back the shocking statistic of only 1 in 10 surviving a cardiac arrest by encouraging more Kiwis to offer bystander CPR and know where their closest AEDs (automatic external defibrillator) are.
“Early intervention with CPR combined with defibrillation can more than double someone’s chances of surviving a cardiac arrest,”
says St John Medical Director Dr Tony Smith. “By increasing the numbers of trained members of the public and access to AEDs (automatic external defibrillators) we can better the odds for the more than 2000 Kiwis who suffer from a cardiac arrest each year.”
There are two apps available in New Zealand to help bystander CPR – one AED Locations (which also has a website) tells you were your closest AED is and the other is GoodSAM responder where people with CPR skills can sign up to be alerted by emergency services if somebody has a cardiac arrest nearby.
To also mark the day St John has released a video with other emergency services colleagues to help education the public on CPR and using AEDs.
“As well as brushing up on your CPR know-how, the theme of this year’s Restart a Heart Day encourages people to know where their nearest AEDs are located. We encourage schools, workplaces and partners to participate in Restart a Heart Day by visiting Restart-A-Heart and making a plan to save a life.”
Kiwis are also being asked to take part in a social media campaign by snapping and uploading photos to social media of publicly available AEDs that they come across with the hashtag #RestartAHeart. AEDs can be found at all ASB and Z Energy locations.
Smith says finding your nearest AED is made easy by becoming a CPR trained and registered GoodSAM responder.
“Anyone over 18 who knows how to perform CPR can visit our page to register and download the GoodSAM Responder App, so that they can be alerted that a person nearby is in cardiac arrest and needs help. If you accept a call for help, you are immediately shown a map of where the patient is and where the nearby AEDs are located. Since launching in April 2018, over 4000 Kiwis have signed up, and we’ve already seen lives saved as a result.”
In addition to a social media campaign, St John is hosting public training sessions in Auckland, Gisborne, Whangarei, Timaru and Christchurch including CPR competitions and giveaways.
Initiated by the European Resuscitation Council, this is the second year of Restart a Heart Day in New Zealand, supported by St John, Wellington Free Ambulance, Fire & Emergency New Zealand, Police, New Zealand Defence Force, Heart Foundation, New Zealand Resuscitation Council and Ambulance New Zealand.