Monday 16 October is Restart a Heart Day, a worldwide day to raise public awareness about how to help improve survival from cardiac arrest before emergency services arrive.
12 October 2017
This year’s Restart a Heart Day sees New Zealand taking part for the first time, and the focus is on CPR and AEDs. New Zealand Resuscitation Council member organisations St John, Wellington Free Ambulance, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, and the Heart Foundation are all supporting Restart a Heart Day, as is the Health Promotion Agency.
Events in Auckland, greater Wellington, Masterton, and Christchurch will give the public the chance to find out about CPR, how to respond and what to expect when someone has a cardiac arrest, and how to access CPR training.
There are about 2,000 cardiac arrests every year in New Zealand. A cardiac arrest is where the heart suddenly stops beating. The person will die, unless treated with CPR and a shock from an AED. CPR is used to buy time until an AED arrives. For every minute that the person in cardiac arrest goes without a shock, their chance of survival decreases by about 10 percent. If shocked early, especially within five minutes, survivors often recover with good neurological outcomes.
“Bystanders are key to lifting survival rates”, says Dr Richard Aickin, Chair of the New Zealand Resuscitation Council. New Zealand’s survival rates from all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests where resuscitation has been attempted compare favourably with other countries, at around 15 percent. But where a bystander witnesses a cardiac arrest, and resuscitation has been attempted before the person arrives at hospital, it is more than twice as likely that the person will survive to hospital discharge.
Aickin says that Restart a Heart Day is a great way to focus attention on enabling effective and efficient response to cardiac arrest. “As a country, we do well by international standards. But we would like to see as many people as possible trained and willing to do CPR and use AEDs. With initiatives like Restart a Heart Day, I’m confident that we can do much, much better.”
For more information see http://www.restartaheart.co.nz/.