A plan by Coles to install Automated External Defibrillators (AED) in all its supermarkets across Australia will help boost the number of patients surviving cardiac arrest, the Heart Foundation says
Coles Director of Safety David Brewster said that AEDs would be installed in all 820 stores by July 2019 and a minimum of five staff at every supermarket will be trained and accredited in first aid by St John Ambulance Australia to perform (CPR) in the event of cardiac arrest.
“By having defibrillators available for our customers and team members, we will be even more able to provide help that has been shown to increase the chances of survival for people who suffer a sudden cardiac arrest,” he said.
“All our first aid team members will be trained in the use of the AED, and we have chosen an easy-to-use device that includes audio and visual instructions so that just about anyone can use it in the case of an emergency.”
The defibrillators will be located near the customer service desk and will be accessible for neighbouring retailers and small businesses to use in the event of an emergency.
The Heart Foundation’s Group CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly, congratulated Coles for the move.
“Coles will make AEDs more accessible so they can be deployed quickly in an emergency, which will save lives,” Professor Kelly said. “AEDs are critical to saving lives as every second and minute counts when a person is having a cardiac arrest.
St John Ambulance Australia CEO Gordon Botwright said that the national rollout of AEDs in Coles supermarkets would have a positive impact on cardiac outcomes in local communities across the country.
“If victims receive defibrillation within the first few minutes their chances of survival are significantly strengthened from just 5% without defibrillation to more than 70%,” he said.
“St John’s goal is for 50% of sudden cardiac arrests to receive defibrillation by 2023 – currently this figure is just 1% in Victoria – so we applaud Coles in assisting this mission by placing defibrillators in all of its stores.”
The retailer will also be partnering with the Heart Foundation to encourage more Australians to have a Health Heart Check with their doctor, via social media channels and by reaching out directly to millions of flybuys members.