Record Cardiac Arrest Response Times Saving More Lives

19 February 2018

Paramedics are now arriving at cardiac arrests faster than ever before, with a record number of patients surviving and a record number of bystanders stepping in to help out, new data shows.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy today joined paramedics to launch the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry 2016/17 annual report which shows state-wide ambulance response times to cardiac arrests have improved to 7.7 minutes – the fastest response time ever.

That means patients were being defibrillated within 9.2 minutes – which is one minute faster than last year.

And despite paramedics treating 6,034 cardiac arrest patients – the most ever – survival for patients in a shockable rhythm is the highest ever at 34 per cent and increases to 37 per cent when witnessed by a bystander.

The odds of a person suffering a cardiac arrest in the community and surviving to hospital discharge have more than doubled over the past decade and more than tripled for patients in a shockable rhythm.

More bystanders are helping save lives before paramedics arrive with 80 patients receiving defibrillation from the public compared to 73 last year. In the past decade, bystander CPR has almost doubled from 23 per cent to 40 per cent and public defibrillator usage has soared 600 per cent.

That means more loved ones are returning home to their families after a cardiac arrest, and back to work. In 2016/17, a record 379 patients were discharged alive from hospital – 21 more than the previous year.

The Labor Government is rebuilding Victoria’s ambulance system after four years of crisis and neglect under the former Liberal Government.

Our $500 million plan will improve ambulance response times, employ 450 more paramedics, buy new vehicles and build more stations across the state. This investment, along with a further $26.5 million in the Victorian Budget 2017/18, is the largest funding boost ever delivered for Victoria’s ambulance services.

Latest data shows 81.4 per cent of Code 1 ambulances are arriving within 15 minutes of call-out, compared with 76 per cent a year earlier and miles ahead of the 73.7 per cent from when the Liberals were last in government.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“In Victoria, we have among the very best cardiac arrest survival rates in the world. More than just a ranking – this means more lives saved, and more people going home from hospital to their loved ones sooner.”

“We promised to rebuild our ambulance service and this report shows we have done just that. Despite increasing demand, paramedics are getting to life-threatening emergencies like cardiac arrests faster than ever before.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy

“In a cardiac arrest, every second counts. We’re treating more cardiac arrest patients than ever before. The good news is families can have peace of mind that paramedics are also responding faster than ever.”

“Under the Liberals, ambulance response times blew out to the worst on the Australian mainland. We’re investing more to improve ambulance response times than any Government in Victoria’s history.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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