With 6.4% of all Australians aged over 15 suffering from a stroke or heart disease each year it should be more widely known that this is the leading cause of death in Australia every year, beyond cancer, violent assaults and road casualties. Many of these cases occur in Australian businesses either to an employee, member of the public or visitor to the business.

In fact, since we typically spend so many hours in our workplace, the chance of a cardiac arrest occurring at work is high.

Statistics show that 80% of cases occur either at home, at work or in public places – not in a medical facility.

Why is Time Critical for Survival?

  • The severity of a heart attack surrounds the short response time afforded before fatality.
  • Sudden cardiac arrest victims have less than 10 minutes to receive defibrillation and CPR treatment before these will prove ineffective.
  • Ambulance response times in Australia, however, have been cited as greater than 10 minutes, well beyond this in busy metropolitan areas.

Fortunately, Automated External Defibrillators (AED) are becoming more widespread every day.

The Kerry Packer Effect

Back in 1990 when Kerry Packer famously suffered another heart attack he was lucky to be treated by one of only two ambulances equipped with a defibrillator. Fast forward 20 years later and AEDs are placed in public areas for emergency use by even an amateur user, with simple LED and voice prompts and “Good Samaritan” laws in place to protect the public from legal liability.

Many large businesses have commendably already made the investment into AED units, and in doing so are helping to save lives.

A True Story

The following story is a true example of the life-saving benefit of having an AED unit installed in a business environment.

In mid-December 2011, the company HR Advisor of a large company (and Head Office First Aid Officer) along with National Sales Manager and Regional General Manager, were invited to attend a Christmas lunch at one of their branches.

About half way through lunch the HR Advisor noticed a staff member sitting speaking to two of her coworkers in what appeared to be some distress. She immediately realised there was something “not quite right” about the situation and went over to see is she could provide assistance.

Upon questioning, the staff member admitted for most of the day she had been feeling short of breath, had a pain in her arm and was feeling pressure around her chest, neck and face. She also revealed she had a history of heart problems, and although had not been taking them for more than 6 months, was on prescribed heart medication.

The HR Advisor immediately asked a co-worker to call triple O and bring her the on-site defibrillator whilst she assisted the worker into a position where she was comfortable (and closer to the ground!).

Thankfully the response time of the NSW Ambulance Service was incredibly quick and they were onsite in minutes. When they arrived they were so impressed with the steps already taken they administered the first shock required by the patient via the Alsco Automated External Defibrillator.

The worker was transported to Liverpool hospital and had bypass surgery performed the following day once stabilised. Although she has never been able to return to work due to her ongoing health issues, she and her entire family will always be grateful for the Christmas miracle we were able to provide.


First Aid

Time is very important especially when it is between life and death. With Alsco we can supply your business with a managed Automated External Defibrillator (AED) service to ensure you have access to a high quality, affordable Automated External Defibrillator at all times. We also offer fully managed First Aid Supply and Service Kit designed to ensure ongoing WH&S compliance for your business.

Make your own workplace safer. Give Alsco a call. What are you waiting for?


Image courtesy: Rama