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Media Releases | St John Ambulance
  13 Jul 2018

Friday the 13th proved to be a lucky day for a Katherine man, when his heart stopped pumping while attending an event at Marrara yesterday - and bystanders jumped into action to save his life. 

The 62-year-old man was at a convention at the gymnastics stadium at Marrara sports grounds with about 3000 people when he collapsed and suffered a form of cardiac arrest at around 10.30am.

Off-duty Intensive Care Paramedic Toby Bugter, who also attended the event, said it was the quick reactions of two young women, believed to be nurses, who saved the man’s life. 

“The ladies did a fantastic job,” Mr Bugter said. “They recognised what was happening, knew what to do and jumped into action.”

The paramedic said the immediate commencement of CPR saved the man.

“If this had happened at home, he probably wouldn’t be alive today.”

The man was taken to Royal Darwin Hospital in the care of St John Ambulance paramedics. 

Intensive Care Paramedic and Acting Regional Manager Warren Purse praised the joint effort of the bystanders and paramedics. 
“It was a great team effort by everyone involved - and the quick actions made the outcome such a good one,” Mr Purse said. 
The incident happened only a day prior to the official launch of St John NT’s new CPR van which aims to provide free CPR training to the public. 

In Australia only one in 10 persons survives a cardiac arrest.

In a bid to increase survival rates, St John Ambulance NT’s new CPR Van is set to offer hands-on CPR demonstrations and training that will give the Territorians of all age groups the skills and confidence to administer CPR and potentially save a life.

St John Ambulance CEO, Judith Barker, said for many people the thought of performing CPR was daunting, but a bystander’s actions could mean the different between life and death.

“Every minute that a person is left without CPR their chances of survival reduce by seven to 10 per cent,” Ms Barker said.
“If the right treatment is given in the first three to five minutes, chances of survival increase from 6 per cent to 74 per cent.”

“Many people are scared to administer CPR to someone suffering a cardiac arrest because they are afraid they may cause further damage or injury. However, with the right training knowledge and training, we’re hoping that people will feel more confident about administering CPR.”

The St John Ambulance CPR Van - which is equipped with six CPR manikins and a screen that shows participants’ performance - will visit community events and schools all over the Northern Territory to teach skills and increase confidence to potentially save a life.

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