Restart a Heart Day 2017

Restart a Heart Day 2017

16 October 2017

Today is Restart a Heart Day, an international initiative to raise awareness around cardiac arrest and the importance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation in saving lives. Currently, only 1 in 10 survive a cardiac arrest(1) – this is where Restart a Heart Day aims to make a real difference and change those odds.

Sudden cardiac arrest – it can happen to anyone
Anyone can suffer a cardiac arrest, anywhere and anytime. Heart problems are not exclusive to the older demographic, but the risk of sudden cardiac arrest for young people is underestimated.

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the electrical function of the heart is disrupted, and can affect patient of all ages. As a consequence, instead of beating the heart quivers, failing to pump oxygen-rich blood around the body. This quickly leads to the patient becoming unconscious with no or abnormal breathing that cannot support life.

From this moment on, chances of survival decrease by 10% for every minute the patient goes without CPR and a defibrillator shock(2). Out of hospital cardiac arrest survival rates in Australia can be as little as 10% (3).

Cardiac arrest in the young
Sudden cardiac arrest in children is rare, but is normally caused by an underlying and often undiagnosed heart disease. Congenital heart disease is the most common birth abnormality: eight children are born with a heart condition every day in Australia(4).
About 25% of sudden cardiac arrests occur whilst the child is playing sports or undertaking physical activity. It is estimated that early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and availability of an automated external defibrillator (AED) could prevent about a quarter of all sudden deaths in children(5).

Anyone can use an AED
Once applied to the chest, the AED analyses the electrical activity of the patient’s heart and determines whether or not a shock is needed. Moreover, the AED will provide verbal and audible guidance in its use, allowing anyone to use them. The ambulance service emergency call handler will also talk you through basic CPR. Nevertheless, we encourage everyone to attend a first aid course to have the confidence to act in an emergency when every minute counts.

Find a course to suit your needs here or contact our team on 1300 78 5646.

References:

1. Council of Ambulance Authorities, 2017, http://restartaheart.net/
2. Heart Foundation 2017, Sudden Cardiac Death, https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/sudden-cardiac-death
3. Life in the Fast Lane, 2014, https://lifeinthefastlane.com/take-heart-australia/
4. HeartKids 2017, Congenital Heart Disease – The key facts, https://www.heartkids.org.au/congenital-heart-disease/the-key-facts
5. NCBI, Sudden cardiac arrest in children and adolescents, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3017912/