Each week, three Wellingtonians fall victim to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) at home, at work or on the street. SCA can happen to anyone at any time, without any known heart disease or other risk factors. The condition occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating.
Wellington Free Ambulance (WFA) is launching a new community initiative, designed to make Wellington the leading SCA-survival city in the southern hemisphere. Wellington’s current survival rate for SCA is comparable with other major cities, but WFA wants to greatly improve residents’ capabilities - to help us match leading international cities such as Seattle, Copenhagen & Oslo, and double the survival rate of witnessed SCA in Wellington.
WFA wants Wellingtonians to "Take the Three Rs to Heart" with its new Operation Heartbeat community training programme, to help save the lives of those three people in the region who suffer from SCA each week. Research shows that can be achieved by providing CPR and defibrillation (first shock) as soon as possible after a victim collapses.
The public can play a major role in performing both of these life saving actions; bystander CPR, and if they have access to an AED (Automated External Defibrillator), defibrillation before paramedic arrival. Providing CPR to a SCA victim can double or even triple their chances of survival.