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The availability of public defibrillators is helping save lives of heart attack victims

Photo: Public shock for Vic heart attacks helping
The availability of public defibrillators is helping save the lives of increasing numbers of heart attack victims in Victoria, new data shows.

Victoria's paramedics were called to more than 6000 heart attacks during 2017/18.

The 6434 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest events were the most ever recorded and 400 more than in 2016/17.

Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry data released on Thursday also shows 82 people were defibrillated with a publicly-accessible device during 2017/18 - two more than the previous year and the most on record.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos says the data shows more Victorians are stepping in to help at a critical time.

"It's wonderful to see people stepping in until emergency help arrives by performing CPR and using a publicly-accessible defibrillator," she said.
The government has rolled out 1400 defibrillators to community organisations, with statistics showing that when applied quickly, the treatment is effective.

Seventy-two per cent of patients shocked with a public defibrillator survived, up seven per cent from the previous year.

Over the past decade, rates of bystander CPR in the community have steadily risen and the chances of cardiac arrest patients surviving to hospital discharge have more than doubled.

"When it comes to cardiac arrest, every second counts," Ms Mikakos said.

"By knowing what needs to be done when an emergency strikes, you can potentially be the difference between life and death."

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