Yarrawonga residents now have access to a defibrillator in Woolworths Yarrawonga Central to assist in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.
The Automated External Defibrillator (AED) was installed in Woolworths Yarrawonga Central on June 8 and is part of a priority roll out program at Woolworths that ensures rural and regional community, or areas where it may be hard to access a medical site gets first access to the roll out.
In early May, Woolworths announced there would be a national roll out of defibrillators in their stores.
The AED is designed to be used by anyone, with clear step-by-step voice instructions that can guide members of the public through the process.
Woolworths Yarrawonga Central Store Manager, Craig Kelly said; “We are pleased to have a defibrillator installed in our store 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.”
An estimated 20,000 Australians suffer a cardiac arrest outside a hospital every year.
The survival rate if you have a cardiac arrest outside of hospital is approximately 10%.
Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute Deputy Executive Director, Professor Jamie Vandenberg 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 defibrillator installed at Woolworths Yarrawonga Central is supplied by Winc, in partnership with Integrity Health and Safety, Australia’s first indigenous provider of work health and safety products, which will also enable a positive social impact.
Integrity Health and Safety CEO and intensive care paramedic, Liam Harte said: “By engaging with Integrity Health and 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.
More information on where further public access defibrillators are in town, in next week’s Yarrawonga Chronicle.