Last month I attended the Heart Foundation and Victoria Ambulance breakfast where I was taught how to use an Automated External Defibrillators. It was a fantastic and informative morning and I was struck by how simple the process of using a defibrillator was.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the single biggest killer in Australia. CVD kills an Australian every 12 minutes. Each year, around 54,000 Australians suffer a heart attack. This equates to one heart attack every 10 minutes and 9/10 heart attacks at home or in the community sadly result in death.
An individual who suffers a heart attack in public or at home increases their survival rate when treated with a defibrillator before the emergency services arrive from 31% to 45%. This makes a real difference. However, there are not nearly enough defibrillators available to the public and many that are available are not registered, so the public have no knowledge on where they can find them.
After my course, I called for defibrillators to be present in all MP’s electorate offices. These offices are normally on high streets and easily identifiable to members of the public. I am delighted that parliament is now offering MPs the opportunity to purchase defibrillators for our electoral officers as part of the electoral office budget. I have already purchased mine and really hope that my fellow MPs will be doing the same.
– Fiona Patten MP, 07.06.18