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​Volunteers train to be part of the chain of survival

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

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Bendigo Health and Ambulance Victoria are working together to teach local volunteers the Chain of Survival, which can be used to save the life of someone in cardiac arrest. 

The Chain of Survival workshops are aimed at increasing the confidence and capacity of a bystander to start the ‘chain of survival’ and respond to cardiac arrest medical emergencies.

With cardiac arrest survival rates in Victoria among the best in the world and a person’s chance of survival now double what it was 10 years ago, some of the factors this can be attributed to are a bystander’s capacity and willingness to respond.

Training this week will teach volunteers the chain of survival – recognising a cardiac arrest, calling Triple Zero (000), performing CPR and applying a defibrillator, if available, before paramedics arrive at the scene.

Bendigo Health Director of Volunteer Services, Sharon Walsh, said the partnership with Ambulance Victoria has allowed the free workshops to be offered to volunteers over three days this week. 

“Over the course of the week almost 50 Bendigo Health volunteers will participate in the nine workshops being conducted by Ambulance Victoria,” Ms Walsh said.

“This is such as positive collaboration. Working together means both organisations support their vision of healthy communities while providing an opportunity for our volunteers to support their community in another way.

“Volunteering is a great way for people to get involved in their community, and learning these new skills might also save a life,” she said.

Ambulance Victoria Loddon Mallee Clinical Manager, Howard Hall, said the workshops were another example of Ambulance Victoria and Bendigo Health working together.

“Our paramedics work with the doctors and nurses at Bendigo Health every day. Now we’re expanding that relationship with our Community Education team teaching Bendigo Health volunteers CPR,” Mr Hall said.

“This means more people in the Bendigo community will know the ‘chain of survival’ – a process anyone can use to save the lives of people in sudden cardiac arrest. 

“The six steps in the ‘chain of survival’ are, early recognition of cardiac arrest, early access to emergency care (calling Triple Zero), early CPR, early defibrillation, early advanced care (paramedics) and definitive care (hospital).”

A cardiac arrest patient has a higher chance of survival if they are defibrillated using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) by a member of the public. 

Mr Hall said we need more people to be able to perform CPR and know where the AEDs are placed in the community so that more lives can be saved. 

“These lives could be our friends, family and colleagues. You just never know when these skills could become life-saving,” he said.

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