Australians Have Low Chances of Survival from Cardiac Arrest

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By Reissa Su | May 28, 2014 4:42 PM EST

Cardiac arrest is one of the biggest killers in Australia. Health experts believe thousands of deaths can be prevented if the public has hasic knowledge of CPR. According to an ABC report, only 9 per cent of people who had cardiac arrests survive. The survival rate for the rest of the world is 50 per cent.

A new campaign is being launched in Australia to prevent fatalities from cardiac arrests. A cardiac arrest happens when the heart stops pumping blood for circulation in the body. It can be triggered by trauma, drowning, drugs or a heart attack. When these conditions exist, it usually means death for Australians, according to reports.

Paul Middleton, an associate professor and an emergency medicine expert for Sydney's Manly Hospotal, will lead the campaign to improve the survival rate of Australians in the event of a cardiac arrest. He said the estimated number of people who die from cardiac arrest range from 20,000 to 30,000.

Compared to Australia's nine per cent, United States' Seattle has a 56 per cent survival rate. Middleton said 75 per cent of the whole community is trained in CPR.

Take Heart Australia is a new organisation launched in an attempt duplicate Seattle's success. Middleton believes defibrillator machines can help but having CPR training as "just as important." He said every person can save a life by using their arms.

He said if 50 per cent of Australia's population has CPR training, thousands of lives can be saved. Defibrillators will be installed everywhere which can be linked with an emergency number. It will be linked to Australia's 000 number so operators will know the patient's location.  

Over one million Australians with the average age of 45 were found to be prone to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The National Heart Foundation survey has found two risk factors for a heart attack have the lowest rate for Aussies living in New South Wales and Queensland.

National Heart Foundation Director of Cardiovascular Health Dr Robert Grenfell said the numbers showed more than one million Australians were at risk of stroke and heart attack. Dr Grenfell explained that the more risk factors a person has, the higher the chances of experiencing a stroke or heart attack.

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