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Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) will happen to 82 unsuspecting Australians today. Of this staggering number, an alarming 90% will die.

 

If you’re thinking to be fit and healthy will protect you from SCA, think again.  Differing from heart attacks, SCA can happen to anyone regardless of age, fitness or weight.

 

The Ferguson family tragically and unexpectedly lost their beautiful four-year-old son, Benny, from SCA.

 

“Benny had just woken and was sitting up talking to me,” said mum, Kim Ferguson.  “When I came back a couple of minutes later, I found him unconscious in his room.  There was no warning.”

 

Sadly, like Benny, five young Australians under 35 die from SCA every week, and will likely have an undetected genetic condition causing a fault in their heart.

 

The chaotic heart rhythm occurring in an SCA can be corrected by using a defibrillator (Automated External Defibrillator or ‘AED’), and every minute without CPR and use of a defibrillator reduces a victim’s survival rate by 7 to 10 percent.

 

“The survival clock starts ticking as soon as a person suffers an SCA,” said Mr Alex Hutton, CEO of St John Ambulance Australia Queensland Limited.

 

“We know that defibrillation within the first few minutes of having an SCA increases the chance of survival to over 70%.”

 

Mr Hutton said St John Ambulance Australia is actively advocating for the widespread implementation of public access defibrillators in the community, starting with workplaces, clubs and organisations to ensure they are ready to save a friend, colleague or patron in an emergency.

 

“Please don’t wait for a tragedy to happen in your workplace or organisation to propel you into action.   Get ready to save a life today with a defibrillator in place,” said Mr Hutton.

 

Defibrillators are the size of a lunchbox and are simple to use even for people with no medical background, as they have easy to follow visual and voice prompts, and do no harm if used on someone not experiencing SCA.

 

Little Benny Ferguson’s family understands the lifesaving capacity of defibrillators and has been on a mission in their hometown of Whittlesea in Victoria to ensure no other family suffers the grief they have from losing a child. They have organised for six lifesaving defibrillators to be installed in key locations, including the local primary school and the football club.

 

“If Benny’s memory can live on saving other people’s lives, that makes me smile,” said Kim.

 

St John Ambulance is the leading first aid provider and supplier of Defibrillators in Queensland.

 

With 82 Australians suffering SCA today, who can afford not to have access to a defibrillator?

 

#/ENDS/#

 

About St John Ambulance

St John is a 130-year-old self-funded charitable organisation with one dedicated purpose – to save lives.

 

St John provides quality first aid products, services and training to the community.

 

Media Enquiries

Paula Price, General Manager Marketing and Business Services

St John Ambulance Australia Queensland Limited

E: paula.price@stjohnqld.com.au

T: 0417 785 228

W: www.stjohnqld.com.au 

 

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