Woolworths MD Claire Peters and Integrity Health CEO Liam Harte demonstrate an Automated External Defibrillator unit in Woolworths.
Woolworths MD Claire Peters and Integrity Health CEO Liam Harte demonstrate an Automated External Defibrillator unit in Woolworths. Contributed

First 5 minutes key to surviving cardiac arrest

IN THE event of a sudden cardiac arrest, early treatment is vital, and the installation of defibrillators in Northern Rivers Woolworths will help to ensure a better outcome for patients.

Automated External Defibrillators (AED) were recently installed in multiple stores across the region and are part of a priority roll out program at Woolworths that ensures rural and regional communities, or areas where it may be hard to access a medical site, get the equipment first.

The AED is designed to be used by anyone, with clear step-by-step voice instructions to guide members of the public through the process.

Woolworths Northern Rivers Group Manager, Jessica Lees said: "We are pleased to have a defibrillator installed in our stores which everyone can have access to".

"You never know when a sudden cardiac arrest might strike and in the unfortunate event that it does, having the local community able to access this treatment, could help to save lives. The best medical advice tells us that access to an AED early on can greatly increase the chance of survival."

A recent study conducted in Victoria found an estimated 20,000 Australians suffered a cardiac arrest outside a hospital each year and the survival rate if that occurs is approximately 10 per cent.

Deputy Executive Director, Professor Jamie Vandenberg from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute said: "As the statistics suggest, sudden cardiac arrests are usually fatal if action isn't taken immediately. It's critical all Australians are equipped with the skills to act quickly in these circumstances; the first 3-5 minutes holds the key to survival.

"Access to a defibrillator can mean the difference between saving or losing a life. A sudden cardiac arrest occurs when there is an electrical problem with the heart. A defibrillator delivers a therapeutic dose of electrical currents to the heart, giving a person their best chance of survival.

"Unfortunately, there are often no warning signs for a cardiac arrest, and it can happen to young people as well as older people regardless of gender. This Woolworths initiative is critical for local communities in the case of an emergency - you never know when you could be someone's only hope of making it home to their family."

The defibrillators installed in the Northern Rivers region Woolworths are supplied by Winc, in partnership with Integrity Health & Safety, Australia's first indigenous provider of work health and safety products, which will also enable a positive social impact.

Integrity Health & Safety CEO and intensive care paramedic, Liam Harte said: "By engaging with Integrity Health & Safety, Woolworths is also enabling us to fund Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives for CPR, Flu Vaccination and Leadership courses in order to build Indigenous healthcare capability - especially in rural and remote Australia.

Defibrillators can now be found at the following Northern Rivers Woolworths stores:

  • Woolworths Byron Bay, Johnson Street, Byron Bay
  • Woolworths Ballina Fair, Crn Fox & Kerr Streets, Ballina
  • Woolworths Ballina River St, River Street, Ballina
  • Woolworths Casino, Canterbury Street, Casino
  • Woolworths Lismore Square, Cnr Mckenzie & Brewster Streets, Lismore
  • Woolworths Lismore Central, Crn Conway & Carrington Streets, Lismore
  • Woolworths Mullumbimby, Station Street, Mullumbimby


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