Lifesaving device gifted to Whakaue Marae
The chances of surviving a cardiac arrest have been boosted for the community surrounding Whakaue Marae in Maketu with the installation of a new automated external defibrillator.
The life-saving device, presented by ASB and St John to Whakaue Marae, is one of 28 AEDs gifted by ASB and Philips, to support efforts by St John to improve cardiac arrest survival rates in New Zealand.
Secretary of Whakaue Marae Committee Bex Mohi says as they are in an isolated community, emergency help is not always as quick as needed.
“Our marae appreciates the donation of an AED and believes this gives our whanau, hapu, and iwi some confidence and security, that should we have to use it, it will be easily accessible at our marae.
"This AED is great to have on site,” she says.
Findings from St John’s Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Report, released in March, reveals that five people a day (almost 2,000 a year) are treated by ambulance officers for a cardiac arrest that happens in the community.
It can happen to people of any age at any time, but the chance of survival can be greatly improved with bystander knowledge of CPR and use of an AED.
People in low income and rural areas are not only twice as likely to suffer a cardiac arrest but have considerably fewer public AEDs available and compared to Europeans, Pacific Island and Maori communities have a disproportionally higher incidence of out of hospital cardiac arrest associated with risk factors such as deprivation.
St John is going to great lengths in communities around New Zealand to install AEDs in public locations like marae, schools, businesses and sports grounds, as well as delivering the ‘3 Steps for Life’ programme, to teach people how to perform CPR and use an AED.
Mat Delaney, St John Western Bay of Plenty territory manager says having an AED accessible at a rural community marae where many people gather, means lives can be saved.
“Studies by St John have revealed that every minute that goes by without CPR or defibrillation reduces the chance of survival by 10-15 percent, with only about 13% surviving a cardiac arrest.
"We know that this survival rate can be doubled by people taking three easy steps; calling 111 for an ambulance, starting CPR immediately and using the nearest AED."