In Health

Victoria Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos

More Victorians Saving Lives Than Ever Before

Victor P Taffa

More Victorians are surviving cardiac arrest than ever before as public defibrillator units become more readily available and more community members feel prepared and confident enough to use them.

Andrews Government today released the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry (VACAR) which showed 82 people were defibrillated with a publicly-accessible defibrillator in the 2017/18 financial year 2 more than the previous year and the most on record.

“When it comes to cardiac arrest, every second counts. That’s why it gives me great pride to know that so many Victorians are rushing to the aid of fellow citizens.” Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos said.

“We can all play a role in saving lives until paramedics arrive. By knowing what needs to be done when an emergency strikes, you can potentially be the difference between life and death.”

Paramedics attended 6,434 OHCA events in 2017/18 some 400 more than in 2016/17 and the most ever recorded.

Typically, fewer than 10 % of cardiac arrest patients survive but when cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation are applied quickly, the outcomes are much more positive.

In 2017/18 32 % of all cardiac arrest patients that received defibrillation survived, but this increased significantly when a publicly-accessible defibrillator was used.

72 % of patients shocked with a public defibrillator survived the event and 64 % were discharged from hospital, which was higher than the previous year’s numbers (65 % and 45 % respectively).

Figures demonstrate the benefit of having automated defibrillator equipment available in the community and the growing number of Victorians who are willing to use it.

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.

This has been backed up by improved response times by Victoria’s paramedics who are reaching cardiac arrest cases faster than ever before, with a state-wide median response of 7.6 minutes.

“Since 2016, we’ve provided more than 1,400 defibrillators to sports clubs across Victoria, which is 400 more than our initial commitment, because we know that they save lives.” Minister for Tourism Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula said.

In May last year Ambulance Victoria also launched GoodSAM an app that has already saved lives by sending an electronic call for help to off-duty first responders when people nearby are in cardiac arrest.



OHCA            Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest

CPR                Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation


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