October 13, 2022

Shocktober – Restart a Heart Day

Restart a Heart Day, held on Sunday, 16 October, is part of Shocktober – a month-long campaign to highlight, raise awareness, and educate the community about learning Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Thousands of Victorians suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest every year.

Liz Ward, Acting Clinical Deterioration and Resuscitation Coordinator, said when cardiac arrest occurs, immediate action is critical.

“Every day, around 19 Victorians have a cardiac arrest, with only one in 10 people surviving,” she said.

“Together, we can improve cardiac arrest survival rates by knowing how to perform CPR and use an AED. CPR is the technique used to pump oxygenated blood around the body by pushing on the chest. Effectively, CPR does the job of the heart.”

“When performing CPR, you are pumping oxygenated blood through the body to the brain and other body organs. It is essential to maintain this blood flow until the paramedics arrive and take over.”

Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, at anytime, anywhere. To ‘restart a heart’, Liz says there are three steps involved – call, push, shock.

Call Triple Zero if someone is unconscious and not breathing normally. The call taker will guide you through how to start CPR,” Liz said.

Push – start CPR. To perform CPR, kneel up straight with your knees next to the person’s chest. Put the heel of your hand in the middle of the chest, at the nipple line. Then place your other hand on top and lock your fingers. Lean over the chest with your arms straight and elbows locked. Push on the chest, hard and fast. This is vital to provide circulating blood to the brain – anyone can perform CPR.”

Shock – connect a defibrillator (if available). An AED should be used if available. This checks the heart rhythm and will guide you through delivering a shock to restore the normal rhythm.”

If cardiac arrest happens onsite at Northern Health, staff need to call a Code Blue via 2222 and the Code Blue Response Team will attend.

There are a number of accredited first aid courses available to anyone who would like to learn how to provide CPR. There are also a number of resources on the Ambulance Victoria website, with instructional videos to guide through the steps of CPR.

“Try not to let fear get in the way of performing CPR. Remember the three steps – call, push and shock. Any CPR is better than no CPR,” said Liz.

On Friday, 14 October, there will be CPR education and activities, including a cardiac arrest simulation, for staff and visitors who are onsite at Northern Hospital Epping. The event will be held in the Northern Hospital Epping main foyer from 9.30 am – 3 pm.

 Featured image: Loren Tong, Simulation Clinical Nurse Educator wearing the heart suit, with Liz Ward, Acting Clinical Deterioration and Resuscitation Coordinator.