Are you ready for a SCA on site?

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) – commonly known as a ?massive heart attack? – is the single largest cause of death in Australia, with over 33,000 people suffering SCA each year. SCA is an electrical malfunction of the heart muscle that impedes the ability of the heart to pump blood to vital organs. When someone suffers a SCA, the heart starts to quiver and cannot pump blood effectively, causing the loss of consciousness. A controlled pulse of energy (defibrillation shock) is required to re-organise the heart to function effectively. Cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), while important, cannot correct an abnormal heart rhythm. The benefit of CPR works in conjunction with a defibrillation shock to ensure oxygen is maintained for the patient to avoid residual brain damage.

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED)is the only way to effectively save a person that suffers a SCA at your facility, as defibrillation is the only definitive treatment for SCA. Unfortunately, there is the possibility that one employee/patient/visitor at a facility will suffer a SCA and an AED is the only device that will save their lives. At present, less than five per cent of people survive a SCA out of the hospital. Time is critical in saving lives. Every minute that elapses results in a 10 per cent decline in the chance of survival (therefore, there is a 10 minute ?window of opportunity?). The average ambulance response time is 10 to 12 minutes which is clearly not sufficient for someone who has suffered a SCA.

The AED should be positioned where it will take no more than three minutes to get the AED and return to the patient.

The AED is designed to be maintenance free and extremely easy to use. The Powerheart AED G3 Plus from Cardiac Science is reliable, easy to use and is sophisticated and robust. It features a ?Rescue Ready? reliability – in effect, the ability to comprehensively and automatically self-test the three critical components (battery, electrodes and circuitry) every day, to conduct a weekly partial energy self-test and perform a full energy test every month. The Powerheart AED G3 checks the battery, circuitry and pre-connected electrodes for both presence and functionality.

The ?Status Indicator? on the front of the unit indicates the working order of the unit. If the three critical components are in working order, a green light appears to show that the AED is ready to be used (?Rescue Ready?). If for some reason there is a problem, a red light appears with an X. An audible alarm will sound every 15 seconds until the problem is rectified (the automatic self-test occurs at 3:03am every day). This will tell you that you need to check the unit for the problem –  the battery, the electrodes or the circuitry (which is clearly indicated).

The battery has a four year full replacement warranty that can deliver 290 shocks and can monitor for 20 hours. The AED comes with seven year comprehensive parts and labour warranty.

In an emergency when the adrenaline is flowing, it is proven that the fewer the number of critical steps necessary, the better the outcome. All you need to do is open the lid to start the device and the Powerheart AED G3 Plus has comprehensive voice and text prompts that keep you informed about what to do (electrode placement and if required to press shock button or commence CPR). You do not even need to remember or know how to attach the electrodes or where to place each one – as they are pre-connected and interchangeable. In the event that you are in a noisy environment there is a display on the unit that concisely follows the messages delivered in the voice prompts (also with a ?Rescue Timer?).  

There is either a fully automatic version that has no buttons at all or a semi-automatic version that requires the user to press the single shock button if required. The shock button cannot be inappropriately pressed and can only be pressed if advised to.

The energy of the defibrillation shock (biphasic technology) is customised to each victim so that the victim only receives the necessary amount of energy in the shortest possible time frame. The biphasic defibrillation energy is variable, escalating as opposed to fixed energy, which delivers the same defibrillation energy levels, despite what the individual actually needs.

Defibrillation has now been added to the ?Basic Life Support – Chain of Survival? guidelines of the Australian Resuscitation Council, showing how crucial defibrillation is to the chain of survival.

Mining and quarrying companies and suppliers that have deployed Cardiac Science AEDs on their sites include Terex Mining, Newmont Mining, Macarthur Coal, Roche Mining, Rio Tinto, Foxleigh Coal Mine, New Acland Coal Mine, Perserverance Exploration and Downer EDI Mining.

Source: Cardiac Science,

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