Twenty-five new defibrillators will be installed over all Otago campuses, and staff are encouraged to take part in one-hour courses to familiarize themselves with the life-saving devices.
Some areas of the University have had the devices for some years, including the Centre for Innovation, Student Health, Arana College, and the Schools of Dentistry and Physical Education, but the new defibrillators will ensure far greater coverage.
The devices have been purchased from the New Zealand Red Cross. Red Cross Dunedin Training Coordinator Colleen Mackie says time is of the essence when a cardiac arrest occurs. “Every minute a person in cardiac arrest goes without defibrillation, the chance of survival decreases significantly. There is no doubt that having quick access to a defibrillator can be the difference between life and death.”
University Health and Safety Advisor Nevan Trotter is encouraging as many staff as possible to attend the one-hour courses, which will start this year.
“Cardiac arrest is the number one cause of death and, of course, it can happen anytime, including at work. So the more people who are confident using these at work, the more lives could be saved – it’s that simple. The fantastic thing is that they are simple to use. Lay people can operate them. You open them and an automated voice tells you the easy steps
required to operate them.”
Does your university, college, or school have automated external defibrillators like the Powerheart AED? If not, we should talk: Leave your contact information in the “more information” box on the right.
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