300 defibrillators to be rolled out

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TREVOR Mills was with his family when he collapsed and his heart stopped beating on Christmas Day last year.

Not for the efforts of his son, who performed CPR for 43 minutes, the 76-year-old says he would have died.

Now, Mr Mills will be given a greater chance of survival from cardiac arrest after the Australian Hotels Association said it would fund and roll out more than 300 public-access heart defibrillators at regional hotels and clubs across SA.

It’s a lifesaving partnership with St John Ambulance SA.

Defibrillators are used to treat Sudden Cardiac Arrest, a condition that occurs when the heart unexpectedly stops pumping due to an underlying medical condition.

No one knows the importance of having a device nearby than Stuart Green, 45, of Port Augusta, who saved a stranger’s life after he collapsed while playing a tennis final just five weeks ago.

“He’d had a heart attack and ended up in cardiac arrest,” Mr Green recalled.

“Myself and a couple of others were helping out … we did CPR and compressed the chest while someone else got the ‘defib’.

“This fellow basically got two shocks (and his heart started) — it was a very, very good outcome.”

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Both Mr Green and Mr Mills welcomed the $750,000 equipment investment to the regions.

AHA (SA) general manager Ian Horne said the central position of pubs and clubs in country towns made them the obvious home for the lifesaving devices.

St John Ambulance SA chief executive Michael Cornish said every minute counted when it came to cardiac arrest.

“For every minute defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival decreases by 10 per cent,” he said.

“A delay of 10 minutes more often than not results in death.

“This means areas of critical need for these devices are those located more than five to 10 minutes from their nearest hospital or ambulance station,” Mr Cornish said.

Defibrillator devices are designed to be used by people with minimal or no training and the device will only administer a shock to a person who requires it.

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