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St John WA reports bystander CPR and AED use is vital for survival

Monday, October 30, 2017

Community AEDs

For the first time, St John Ambulance WA have released an Annual Report on the management of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, using data reaching back decades from the PRECU registry at Curtin University.

The report reveals the number of West Australians surviving an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) has increased 75% in the past three years due to an increase in bystanders stepping in to perform CPR and use public defibrillators. Data shows that patients shocked by a public AED survive at twice the rate of those shocked just a few minutes later by a St John clinical crew. The discharge alive rate of 57 per cent provides powerful evidence as to the value of public AEDs and their associated impact on survival outcomes.

Unadjusted survival outcomes according to who shocked the first in OHCA cases of all ages where resuscitation was commenced with a shockable rhythm in WA in 2016
Unadjusted survival outcomes according to who shocked the first in OHCA cases of all ages where resuscitation was commenced with a shockable rhythm in WA in 2016 (ROSC: Return Of Spontaneous Circulation)

The report also shows the median response times for SJA WA paramedics to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest events where bystanders did NOT initiate resuscitation was 12 minutes for rural WA and 9 minutes for the Perth Metropolitan area. With irreversible damage starting within 3 to 5 minutes after circulation stops and victims being unresuscitatable at around 10 minutes without circulation, it is clear that bystander CPR and AED use is absolutely critical in the chain of survival.

Response time of OHCA cases of all ages where resuscitation was commenced by SJA WA paramedics
Response time of OHCA cases of all ages where resuscitation was commenced by SJA WA paramedics

The St John WA Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Report emphasises that: "for every minute post-arrest without either CPR of defibrillation, survival falls 10 per cent. This carries the heavy implication that events preceding ambulance arrival are critical to the eventual patient outcome. Patients who receive early, high quality CPR and defibrillation with a locally available AED survive at approximately five times the rate of those who have neither."

Download the full report now: St John WA - Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Report 2016.

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