Public heart saving AEDs rolled out
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.
Andrew Castles and Steve Harkness with a new AED unit.