The chances of surviving a cardiac arrest have been boosted for the community surrounding Tipapa Marae in Murupara, with the gift of a new automated external defibrillator (AED).
The lifesaving device presented by St John is the latest of 28 AEDs donated by ASB and Philips to support efforts by St John to improve cardiac arrest survival rates in New Zealand.
St John's Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) registry, released last week, revealed last year, St John Ambulance treated more than 2000 people for a cardiac arrest in the community, with only 31 per cent of those surviving to hospital arrival.
This survival rate is now the lowest of the five emergency services St John benchmarks against and St John clinical director Dr Tony Smith said more work and resources were needed to save more lives.
Tipapa Marae trustee Annette Marsh said the AED was available for surrounding
communities including three other marae in the area.
"It is a privilege to receive such a beautiful taonga for our people," she said.
"It is a great tool to have on our marae to help save lives when it is needed. Touch wood nothing happens but we have been first aid trained and we are now better prepared with an AED on hand.
"I know of people in our community with cardiac issues, one of whom was rushed to hospital with a heart attack, so it's reassuring to have an AED at our marae."
St John said it was committed to improving survival rates by installing AEDs in public locations around New Zealand, like marae, schools, businesses and sports grounds, as well as delivering the '3 Steps for Life' programme, to teach people how to perform CPR and use an AED.
"Our research shows that Māori and Pasifika people are more likely to have a cardiac arrest and less likely to survive," St John Lakes territory manager George Clicquot said.
"Having an AED accessible in a marae where many people frequent means lives can be
Research by St John revealed every minute that goes by without CPR or defibrillation
reduces the chance of survival by 10 to 15 per cent, with only about 13 per cent surviving a cardiac arrest.
This survival rate can be doubled by people taking three easy steps: calling 111 for an
ambulance, starting CPR immediately and using the nearest AED.
ASB head of community and sponsorship Mark Graham said: "ASB has been supporting St John to get AEDs into more communities, to help increase the chances of survival during a cardiac arrest.
"We have AEDs in all of our branches and have had to use them a number of times, so we
know how critical they can be in an emergency when every minute counts. Having this AED will hopefully make a big difference when it's needed most."