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Shoctober: Defibrillation Awareness Month 2019

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Launched in 2006 by the Cardiac Arrest Survival Foundation, Shoctober or Defibrillator Awareness Month is a national campaign to raise awareness of desperate needs for defibrillators in workplaces and public spaces due to the growing numbers of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) cases.


What Is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden cardiac arrest is a condition in which there is an abrupt loss of heart function, breathing, and consciousness. It occurs when there is an unexpected electrical abnormality to the heart, interrupting the normal blood flow to the brain and other vital organs. Sudden Cardiac Arrest can cause death if it’s not treated within minutes.

Here are some quick facts on Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

  • Only 1 in 10 people survive a sudden cardiac arrest.
  • One of the most critical factors in surviving cardiac arrest is the CPR and AED intervention.
  • For every minute CPR and AED are delayed, the survival rate decreases by 10%.
  • Bystander CPR and bystander AED use can double the chances of survival.

Sudden cardiac arrest accounts for between 23,000 and 33,000 Australian deaths every year. It is more than breast cancer, shootings, and road accidents combined. That is about two busloads of people dying every day. Imagine that.

Defibrillator Awareness Month is the perfect time to address one of Australia’s leading causes of death – cardiac arrest. This Shoctober, let’s promote the importance of properly installed and monitored public defibrillators to save lives potentially.


What is a defibrillator?

An AED or automated external defibrillator is a small, portable medical device designed to deliver an electric shock to a person who is having a cardiac arrest. It is used in applying first aid to assist with manual CPR to restart the heart.

In the event of a sudden cardiac arrest, a defibrillator on hand can mean the difference between life and death. The time-sensitive nature of SCA highlights just how important having a publicly accessible AED can be. Chances of survival can go from 5% up to 70% when cardiopulmonary resuscitation is combined with defibrillation.

AEDs or defibrillators are easy to use, maintain and will only administer a shock when it is needed. It will provide automated heart rhythm analysis and voice commands, making it easier for any bystander to help in a sudden cardiac arrest crisis.


Every minute counts

It’s time for us to get educated and reduce needless deaths from sudden cardiac arrest. This Shoctober, let’s continue to raise awareness of the toll that Sudden Cardiac Arrest takes on Australian communities and the importance of defibrillator awareness.

We are calling on organisations, workplaces, and individuals to show they care about Cardiac Arrest Survival by hosting defibrillator awareness events or learning how to use an AED through First Aid Training.

As part of First Aid Training, you will have an opportunity to practice CPR with rescue breathes and learn how to use a defibrillator properly. You will gain the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to save a life.

Find out more at

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