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Red Cross urges defibrillators for schools

The three year, Red Cross 'Project Defib' campaign to introduce defibrillators into sporting clubs has now been extended to schools.

Wednesday March 4, 2015

a sudden cardiac arrest can happen anywhere and having a defibrillator on hand can dramatically boost survival rates

Project Defib, an initiative of Red Cross Training Services, aims to reduce the number of deaths caused by sudden cardiac arrest by making defibrillators and related training and support, accessible to all sporting clubs and schools across Australia.  

More than 30,000 Australians suffer from sudden cardiac arrest every year of which only 5% survive.  Immediate access to a defibrillator can lead to a 70% survival rate if applied quickly.  

Red Cross first aid trainer, Anthony Cameron says a sudden cardiac arrest can happen anywhere and having a defibrillator on hand can dramatically boost survival rates.  

"While an actual 'heart attack', where a diseased, narrowed or blocked artery disrupts blood flow to the heart is rare in children, a cardiac arrest is far more common. A cardiac arrest is when the heart is no longer beating.   A cardiac arrest can occur in children due to drowning or choking, receiving an electric shock, respiratory related medical conditions such as asthma and anaphylaxis, trauma, poison or congenital abnormalities.  

"Cardiac arrests are not just restricted to the elderly or high risk groups," says Anthony.   "Red Cross and the Heart Foundation both acknowledge the advantage of having easy access to automated external defibrillators wherever large groups of people gather, including schools.  

"An automated external defibrillator has the capacity to analyse what a person's heart is doing through an internal heart monitor and then, if required deliver a therapeutic shock to restore normal cardiac rhythms .  

"Each minute that passes before a defibrillator is used will substantially reduce a person's chance of survival in a state of cardiac arrest" says Anthony.  

"Automated external defibrillators are very user friendly.  

Red Cross Training Services Project Defib can provide schools and sporting clubs with a grant to help purchase and provide training for a Lifeline VIEW Defibrillator.  

"You can learn the principles of basic life support by attending a Red Cross First Aid course. During these courses you will learn lifesaving applications including CPR and use of an automated external defibrillator."  

To find out more about Project Defib or to register your interest call 1300 367 428 or go to  

To purchase a Red Cross first aid kit or to enrol in a Red Cross first aid training course go online to or call 1300 367 428