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Community urged to learn CPR

A Shepparton paramedic says people are three times more likely to survive cardiac arrest if CPR is administered before paramedics arrive on scene.

JENNA BISHOP February 13, 2014 5:16am

Vital skill: Shepparton paramedic Paul Almond wants people to learn CPR to help save lives.


Paramedics are urging more people in the community to learn CPR in an effort to improve resuscitation rates and help save lives.

Shepparton paramedic Paul Almond said commuity knowledge of CPR could be the difference between life and death.

‘‘Your chance of survival without CPR and expected ambulance/paramedic response is somewhere around 10 per cent,’’ he said.

‘‘If you start CPR from the moment of collapse, it will be around 30 per cent, depending on the type of cardiac arrest.’’

Mr Almond said paramedics had recently received a callout to an elderly woman who had suffered a heart attack in her home.

Her husband administered CPR until an ambulance arrived, which Mr Almond said likely saved her life.

Mr Almond said any CPR administered was far better than no CPR, despite common misconception.

‘‘It’s almost never harmful, if there’s a pulse the worst you can do is crack a rib,’’ he said.

He reassured people who did CPR they were doing the correct thing, despite possibly being asked to stop what they were doing when paramedics arrived.

He said crews carried advanced cardiac drugs, which could achieve similar results to CPR.

Mr Almond said more than 5000 cardiac arrests occurred in Victoria, with about 42 per cent of those in rural areas.

‘‘Of that, only 16 per cent are able to leave hospital,’’ he said.

 

People can register for a 4 Steps for Life Plus pack through Ambulance Victoria, which includes an instructional DVD and a CPR training pillow to teach basic CPR skills. To register for a pack, phone 1300550472.

 

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