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Defibrillators

Defibrillators

As it currently stands, in Australia, aged care facilities such as retirement villages and nursing homes are not legally obliged to install defibrillators on-premises, but with an ageing population1 and a trend towards more care services in retirement villiages2, have you examined whether it should be best practice for you?

Each year, more than 30,000 Australians suffer cardiac arrest. If it happens outside a hospital, their chances of surviving are less than 1 in 103. In the United States, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of a hospital setting every year4. Should cardiac arrest occur, death can result quickly if proper steps aren’t taken immediately? When CPR and an AED are used in the first few minutes after a cardiac arrest, the chances of survival are the greatest5. NSW Health’s 2012 study into the Epidemiology of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests6 found that 59% of patients were deceased by the time they were examined by an ambulance team, and most ambulance attendances occurred:
  • in residential areas
  • outside of business hours
  • among persons ages 65 years and over
So while it may not yet be legislated, it may be a great time to consider whether your establishment and its patients, staff and residents could benefit from an on-site defibrillator.

1 3101.0 - Australian Demographic Statistics, (Jun 2019) https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/1CD2B1952AFC5E7ACA257298000F2E76
2 Defibrillators – what are your obligations? (Dec 2019) http://www.retirementliving.org.au/news/defibrillators-obligations/
3 Defibrillators - HealthDirect (Dec 2018) https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/defibrillators
4 About Cardiac Arrest, (Mar 2017) https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cardiac-arrest/about-cardiac-arrest
5 Cardiac Arrest - Heart Foundation Australia https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/heart-conditions/cardiac-arrest
6 Do A, Cretikos M, Muscatello D, Rose N. Epidemiology of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, NSW, 2012: Time, place and person. Sydney: Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health, 2013.
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