Pub­lic heart sav­ing AEDs rolled out

The Napier Mail - - YOUR HEALTH - STAFF RE­PORTER

More than 30 lo­ca­tions around Hawke’s Bay now have new life sav­ing de­vices on hand.

The Hawke’s Bay Race­course in Hast­ings is one of 32 sites to re­ceive an Au­to­matic Ex­ter­nal De­fib­ril­la­tor or AED.

Th­ese are at­tached to the chest of a per­son fol­low­ing a car­diac ar­rest.

If this hap­pens within the first minute fol­low­ing an ar­rest the per­son’s chance of sur­viv­ing in­creases by around 40 per­cent.

St John Napier/Hast­ings shift man­ager and in­ten­sive care para­medic Steve Hark­ness was part of the team which se­lected the lo­ca­tions for the AEDs.

Ev­ery year 2000 New Zealan­ders suf­fer an out-of- hospi­tal car­diac ar­rest.

While 60 per cent re­ceived CPR from a by­stander, only six per cent were de­fib­ril­lated us­ing a com­mu­nity AED.

‘‘The only way this fig­ure can be im­proved in Hawkes Bay is for AEDs to be more read­ily avail­able in com­mu­ni­ties,’’ Hark­ness said.

Part of the project was to get more of the de­vices into the com­mu­nity, but also to show peo­ple how easy they were to use if the need arose.

‘‘If you can fol­low in­struc­tions you can use it, it’s that sim­ple,’’ he said.

Hawke’s Bay Rac­ing were also hold­ing a train­ing event for staff and venue users to be­come fa­mil­iar with the new de­vice.

The AEDs were bought from St John by the Roys­ton Health Trust, a char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tion which evolved from the trust that for­merly ran Roys­ton Hospi­tal in Hast­ings.

To­gether the groups se­lected 32 lo­ca­tions around the re­gion - smaller doc­tors’ surg­eries and phar­ma­cies, plus cen­tral lo­ca­tions such as gen­eral stores, marae, restau­rants and a cin­ema.

Hawke’s Bay Rac­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive An­drew Cas­tles said his or­gan­i­sa­tion’s board had al­ready de­cided an AED was some­thing they wanted at the race­course, as it was a large venue used by a num­ber of groups.

They had ap­plied for a grant for one, but needed a more de­tailed quote.

Af­ter con­tact­ing St John for a price they were of­fered one of the units from the pilot pro­gramme.

The lo­ca­tions of the units can be found by down­load­ing the AED lo­ca­tions app, vis­it­ing New Zealand AED lo­ca­tions web­site, or from a red sticker dis­played on a build­ing.

ME­GAN HUNT

An­drew Cas­tles and Steve Hark­ness with a new AED unit.

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