St John, ASB and Philips have donated a pair of external defibrillators (AED) to the New Brighton community.
They’ve been installed at Reg Stillwell Place and Bridgewater Courts, a pair of Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust communities.
They are two of 28 28 AEDs gifted by ASB and Philips to support efforts by St John to improve cardiac arrest survival rates in New Zealand.
The St John Christchurch Area Committee donated the outdoor cabinets. The committee has previously placed four AEDs and cabinets in ŌCHT communities.
ŌCHT tenancy relations manager James Hadlee says community housing provides the ideal home for the AEDs.
“Our homes are very much part of their wider communities, and we are thrilled we can support our communities by hosting such important life-saving devices.
“There are fewer AEDS in coastal east Christchurch than many other parts of the city, and the donations are a fantastic addition.”
Mr Hadlee says OCHT is grateful for the CPR information St John provides when AEDs are installed at OCHT homes.
There have been occasions when OCHT tenants have used CPR to save lives.
Last year’s OCHT Housing Heroes Award was won by Pickering Courts resident James Te Paa, who responded to a neighbour’s calls for help.
“James heard his neighbour, Mark, upstairs yelling for help and found Mark on the ground looking blue with no pulse.
“James started CPR and continued compressions until the paramedics arrived. Police called OCHT praising James for his actions stating that Mark would not be alive if not for James.”
St John says death from cardiac arrest is our silent toll. Findings from St John’s Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Report, released in March 2020, reveal five people a day (almost 2,000 a year) are treated by ambulance officers for a cardiac arrest that happens in the community.
It can happen to people of any age at any time, but the chance of survival can be greatly improved with bystander knowledge of CPR and use of an AED.
People in low income and rural areas are not only twice as likely to suffer a cardiac arrest but have considerably fewer public AEDs available, and compared to Europeans, Pacific Island and Maori communities have a disproportionally higher incidence of out of hospital cardiac arrest associated with risk factors such as deprivation.
St John is installing AEDs in public locations such as marae, schools, businesses and sports grounds, as well as delivering the ‘3 Steps for Life’ programme, to teach people how to perform CPR and use an AED.
St John clinical advisor – Hauora Māori Michelle Brett says studies by St John reveal that every minute that goes by without CPR or defibrillation reduces the chance of survival by 10-15 percent, with only about 13% surviving a cardiac arrest.
“We know that this survival rate can be doubled by people taking three easy steps; calling 111 for an ambulance, starting CPR immediately and using the nearest AED.
“Having an AED accessible in a community housing complex where many people frequent, means lives can be saved.”
ASB head of community and sponsorship Mark Graham says ASB has been supporting St John to get AEDs into more communities, to help increase the chances of survival during a cardiac arrest.
“We have AEDs in all of our branches and have had to use them a number of times, so we know how critical they can be in an emergency when every minute counts.
“Having these AEDs will hopefully make a big difference when it’s needed most.”
St John’s clinical research shows more AEDs are needed in remote and socio- economically deprived communities – something ASB is committed to helping with.
There are also AEDs at Knightsbridge Lane (Aranui), Haast Courts (Linwood), Harman Courts (Addington), Mary McLean Place (Woolston) and Jecks Place (Avonside).