Access to a public automatic electric defibrillator can be the difference between life and death for 30,000 Australians who suffer a cardiac arrest every year.
This week, the Uralla Masonic Lodge has donated one of the life-saving machines to McMaugh Gardens Aged Care Centre.
The AED, worth over $3,000, is now the second public access defibrillator to be installed in Uralla in the past seven days.
The Uralla Shire Council has also just installed an AED at FoodWorks.
Previous to this, the only defibrillator in town was located at the fire brigade and it was not available for public use.
Uralla mayor Michael Pearce said council had been working to purchase and install the AED for some time.
“It’s extremely important to have that type of technology as we have a large elderly population,” Mr Pearce said.
“We have purchased one and it has been installed at FoodWorks.
“There is actually a little sign outside the store which indicates an AED is in there for use.”
The device is designed to provide a shock to the heart when there is a life threatening arrhythmia present.
Around 95 per cent of out-of-hospital cardiac cases die before reaching medical assistance.
Having access to a defibrillator in a public space can be the difference between life or death, according to a NSW Health spokesperson.
“Access to early defibrillation, within eight minutes, can have a significant benefit in improving outcomes from sudden cardiac arrest for persons with certain cardiac arrhythmia,” the spokesperson said.
AEDs are usually located in large public areas such as shopping malls, community centres and sporting venues.
Uralla Masonic master of lodge of peace, John McFarlane presented the second machine at McMaugh on Monday.
“They’re going to put in their foyer,” Mr McFarlane said.
“If the public are aware that it’s there they can come and use it too.”
McMaugh facility manager Dianne Russell said the donation would benefit the community who can access the machine 24 hours, seven days a week.
“It certainly will be beneficial for the community to know we have a defibrillator in place,” she said.
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