Tom Petty – Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)
The sad loss of Tom Petty yesterday, struck down by a sudden cardiac arrest.
While the exact situation of what happened is not clear it highlights the shear randomness of SCA.
Also reminds us that we need more access to Defibrillators / AED’s.
A defibrillator is the only way to restart someones heart when SCA occurs.
Talk to your family and people at work about acquiring a defibrillator and guarding against SCA.
The Vital First 10 Minutes
The most compelling reason as to why anyone needs to have a defibrillator on hand is that after the first 10 minutes of having a cardiac arrest your survival rates can drop to be less than 10% . The survival rate can drop between 7% to 10% for every minute the patient has to wait for defibrillation.
Our ambulance service and paramedics do a magnificent job with the resources they have available to them, but it doesn’t guarantee that they will get to a patient within that 10 minute window.
The latest Ambulance Victoria Report on ambulance response times (1st Jan 2016-31st Mar 2016) shows that the state wide average response time for a code one incident (Sudden Cardiac Arrest included) reported that 75.6% of the time, the ambulance arrived less than or equal to 15 mins. The state average response time was 13:01 with the best average time being Melbourne with 9:51, the worst areas being some rural locations where response times are greater than 20 mins. A quick check shows that these numbers are pretty similar for other states and territories in Australia.
Bearing in mind that early defibrillation and the first 10 mins is key to improving survival rates these numbers show is that survival rates from cardiac arrest can be dramatically improved if people, businesses, sporting clubs and organisations of all types have a defibrillator available to them, then more lives will be saved from cardiac arrest.
We owe it to our family , workmates and fellow person to be equipped and ready with a defibrillator in the event of an emergency.