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 Ambulance Victoria are seeking to locate 15,000 hidden defibrillators to improve cardiac arrest survival rates.
Victorians who own a potentially life-saving defibrillator are being urged to register them, as Ambulance Victoria today reveals that the whereabouts of up to 15,000 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) is unknown across the state.
The chance of survival increases by 62% if a person in cardiac arrest is defibrillated by a bystander before an ambulance arrives.
Information about the location of registered AEDs is made available through an online registry, helping build community awareness and understanding on where local AEDs can be found. The data will also be passed on to first responders through new smartphone technology being introduced by Ambulance Victoria.
Ambulance Victoria estimates that on average, more than 2,500 AEDs are bought in Victoria each year but not registered, often meaning their location is not known to bystanders responding to a person in cardiac arrest.
Ambulance Victoria CEO, Associate Professor Tony Walker, urged AED owners, including schools, medical practices, businesses, community organisations and sporting clubs, to take a moment to register their devices online.
“In locations like corporate offices, gyms and bowls clubs across the state, for every life-saving defibrillator in the community we know about, there are four we don’t,” said Associate Professor Walker.
“By registering your defibrillator, you could save the life of someone in your local community.”
“Imagine what the map of Victoria might look like if every defibrillator in the area was registered and could be connected with someone in a life-threatening situation.”
Associate Professor Walker said saving lives was a team effort and bystanders could make a huge difference to a patient’s outcome by administering CPR and using a defibrillator in the critical minutes before an ambulance arrives.
“Your AED could be the one that saves a life.”
The callout comes just weeks after the latest Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry (VACAR) Annual Report showed over 6,000 Victorians a year suffer a cardiac arrest away from hospital, with an increasing number of cases in rural Victoria over the past ten years.
With the chance of survival reducing by up to 10% every minute that passes without defibrillation, Associate Professor Walker said that everyone has a role to play when it comes to an emergency.
“Bystanders can play a vital role in saving someone’s life. When we arrive at a scene where bystanders have started CPR and used a defibrillator, I know that patient already has a better chance of getting out of hospital alive than if no one had stepped in.”
AED owners can register their devices with Ambulance Victoria today at ambulance.vic.gov.au/register.

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