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Restart a Heart, Save a Life

16 Oct 2017

NSW Ambulance paramedics are asking the public an important question today – if the person standing next to you suffered a cardiac arrest, would you be able to restart their heart?

Minister for Health Brad Hazzard today joined NSW Ambulance Education Director Alan Morrison at a pop-up event in Sydney’s Martin Place for Restart a Heart Day, which is aimed at helping people learn life-saving skills. 

“The first eight minutes after someone suffers a cardiac arrest is crucial, so it is vital that everyone knows exactly what to do if they are ever with somebody in that situation,” Mr Hazzard said.

“It only takes a few minutes to learn CPR to restart a heart, and save a life.”

Mr Morrison said the best chance of survival for anyone suffering an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation via an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), backed up by paramedics.

“If you see a community member in cardiac arrest, the best thing you can do is call Triple Zero (000) and start compressions,” Mr Morrison said.

“Every second without medical intervention counts. Learning how to deliver CPR and use an AED is really important. 

“Too many people lose their lives because those at the scene don’t call Triple Zero (000) quickly enough.”

Of the 23,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests recorded in Australia each year, only 2,300 people survive.

Luckily for 47-year-old Sydney resident Garry Dickerson, who collapsed in the Domain tunnel earlier this year, two bystanders knew what to do when he went into cardiac arrest.

Garry was found unresponsive on Wednesday19 July by Robert Cheval and Nicholas Chen, who immediately started life-saving CPR.

“I’m just incredibly fortunate that both Robert and Nicholas happened to be walking through the Domain tunnel at the time I collapsed,” said Garry.

“I don’t remember much at all about the morning, but I wouldn’t be alive today if it wasn’t for their actions.”

Mr Morrison said Garry’s case is one of many that show how those who first arrive on the scene can play a key role in a person’s chance of survival.

Restart a Heart Day is part of a national campaign led by the Council of Ambulance Authorities. 

If you believe someone has suffered a cardiac arrest:
1. Call: Triple Zero (000) and ask for Ambulance – follow the instructions 
2. Pump: link hands, push hard and fast 
3. Shock: If available, use an AED to shock the person’s heart beat back to life
For more information, visit: 
Join in the Restart a Heart day conversation on social media using #restartaheart