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Flying Doctor encourages Australia to Take Heart

Flying Doctor encourages Australia to Take Heart
Photo: Flying Doctor encourages Australia to Take Heart
“CPR is a really important skill that everyone should have, especially those who live on remote or rural properties who may be first responders in an emergency where it may take time for professional help to arrive,” says Linda Cutler, General Manager  Health Services at the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s South East Section (RFDS SE).

“Knowing how to handle such a situation could make a positive difference to to the patient’s long term health and clinical status, which is why we are supporting Take Heart Australia Day on 30 November.”

The Flying Doctor has attended its fair share of emergencies during its 87 years of bringing vital emergency and primary healthcare to Australians living in remote, rural and regional areas. During the past year alone the RFDS helped over 280,000 Australians who suffered major illnesses, traumas, endured difficulties during childbirth or required clinical healthcare services.”
Founded in 2014, Take Heart Australia (THA) is the brainchild of Paul Middleton, Clinical Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at University of Sydney, Suzanne Davies, Head of Paramedicine at the University of Tasmania, and paramedic specialist, Janelle White.  Their single mission is to dramatically increase the survival rate of Aussies who suffer a sudden cardiac arrest by getting more Aussies trained up in high-quality CPR.

THA estimates that around 30,000 Australians experience a sudden cardiac arrest with a survival rate of just 9- 10 per cent. In comparison over 60 per cent survive in the US city of Seattle because three-quarters of the population have been trained in CPR.

Anyone can do it and to prove it THA will be facilitating a number of free events across New South Wales on Take Heart Australia Day. THA are encouraging schools, workplaces
and individuals to come along to learn how to save a life and help to break the Guinness World Record for the most people trained in CPR within 24 hours. The current record is 21,000.

Take Heart Australia’s HQ/ home base will be Allianz Stadium in Sydney’s Moore Park where the RFDS SE and a number of other health and emergency organisations such as; NSW Ambulance, St John’s Ambulance, NSW Police, The National Heart Foundation, Surf Life Saving Australia, Careflight and NSW Fire & Rescue will be putting on demonstrations and educational displays. 
 
The RFDS SE will be represented by the aeromedical simulator, which is a full-sized replica of the flight deck and fuselage of a RFDS King Air B200 aircraft. Measuring 9.1m long, 2.4m wide and 3m high and complete with flight deck and full aeromedical fit-out, it’s a great way of engaging with the public.

On boarding the simulator visitors can sit in the pilot’s seat or in the rear of the cabin and experience what it’s like to be a RFDS pilot, flight nurse, or flying doctor. RFDS SE Education Officer, Sarah Little, will be on hand to explain the aircraft’s capabilities, what the medical equipment in these ‘flying intensive care units’ does and recount some real-life rescue stories.

“CPR is an invaluable skill to have and we would encourage as many people as possible to take the opportunity to learn CPR on 30 November,” said Ms Cutler.

“As one of the THA slogans says, “You don't need superpowers to save a life - just your own two hands.”

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