BOMBERS LEAD THE WAY ON SAFETY
The Bega Bombers has become the first club in the Sapphire Coast AFL to install a portable defribrillator at its home ground.
A defibrillator is a device designed to deliver a therapeutic doses of electrical energy to the heart. The aim is to re-establish the body’s natural pace maker after sudden cardiac arrest.
The Bombers joined forces with the Bega Showground Trust to apply for a Southern Phones Grant to purchase the machine which will now be accessible to all groups using the showground.
Club president, Alex Nicol says that it’s a common misconception that heart attacks only occur in older, less fit individuals. “There are numerous instances of young sports people collapsing and dying during a sporting event,’ he says, “and evidence proves that the availability of a portable defibrillator can save lives.”
The Bega Showground defibrillator has been purchased through Defib Your Club for Life, an initiative of St John’s Ambulance which will maintain the machine, provide training in its use and link its location into a growing net- work of these life-saving machines.
It’s estimated that one in every thousand people have an undiagnosed heart condition and cardiac arrest can occur without any warning in apparently healthy people. “I can attest to that myself,” says Nicol. “I consider myself reasonably fit for my age and suffered a cardiac arrest while exercising. Critically I didn’t even know what was happening to me but I now understand just how important it is in such a situation to get help as quickly as possible.”
Experience shows that the most successful outcomes are seen when defibrillation occurs within five minutes of the patient having a cardiac arrest. For every minute that passes there is a 10% drop in the chance of survival.
At the MCG, where first aid teams are equipped with automatic defibrillators, survival rate of people experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest is 85% compared to an estimated 7 to 10 percent elsewhere when these machines are not available.
‘St John’s Ambulance has undertaken to provide a training session in the use of the defibrillator,” says Nicol, ‘But significantly the machine is designed so that anyone is able to use it in the case of an emergency. The Bombers and the Showground Trust are grateful to Southern Phone for making this initiative possible and are proud of the fact that the Bega Showground is now equipped with this modern life saving device.