This Shocktober, learn to save a life

October 19, 2021 BY

Now in its second year, Shocktober is a month-long campaign aimed at improving cardiac arrest survival rates. Photo: AMBULANCE VICTORIA

Ambulance Victoria is calling on people to help save lives this “Shocktober” by learning CPR and signing up as a GoodSAM Responder.

Now in its second year, Shocktober is a month-long campaign aimed at improving cardiac arrest survival rates.

Ambulance Victoria chief executive officer Professor Tony Walker said with only one in 10 people surviving a cardiac arrest, everyone had a role to help improve this statistic.

“Shocktober is about giving more Victorians the chance to go home to their families,” he said.

“This month, we want as many people as possible to learn basic CPR and to become one of our amazing GoodSAM Responders.”

GoodSAM is a life-saving app that connects patients in cardiac arrest with a nearby volunteer who is willing to start hands-only CPR while an ambulance is on the way.

More than 50 Victorians are alive today after receiving early CPR from GoodSAM Responders.

Croydon North grandfather Paul Laister survived a cardiac arrest in April after receiving CPR from his wife Beth and a GoodSAM Responder.

The 66-year-old collapsed in his study, with his grandson quickly phoning Triple Zero. Within minutes, GoodSAM Responder Chloe Wirth, an occupational therapist, arrived to help.

“I had just sat down to have lunch when my phone went off and I could see the case was only a street away,” Ms Wirth said.

“When I arrived I could see Beth doing CPR and I was able to take over and give her a break.”

She continued CPR until paramedics arrived and took over the care of Mr Laister.

After spending three weeks in ICU, Mr Laister returned home and has since made a full recovery.

“I knew we’d done everything we could to give Paul the best chance, but finding out he’d survived was just incredible,” Ms Wirth said.

“Paul was my first GoodSAM callout and to have played a part in saving his life is just the best feeling.”

Now home and working full-time, Mr Laister said it was difficult to describe his gratitude to Ms Wirth and the paramedics.

“Thank you many, many times over just doesn’t seem to be adequate,” he said.

“The very fact someone was here with CPR skills, a very caring person who was able to relieve some of the panic Beth and Liam were experiencing, I’m just so grateful.

“I’ve spoken to a number of people since my cardiac arrest about why it’s so important to know CPR.”

Professor Walker said anyone could be like Chloe and make a life-changing difference.

“Our message is simple – you don’t need to be a paramedic to be a life saver, you just have to be over 18 and willing to give hands-only CPR.

“Become a GoodSAM Responder this Shocktober and help us help more Victorians survive cardiac arrest.”

For information about the GoodSAM app and how to sign up, head to the Heart Restarter website.

To learn how to do CPR and use an AED (defib), head to the Ambulance Victoria website.

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