STAND BACK AND WAIT: Kingaroy Ambulance Committee president John Box and Cr Danita Potter demonstrate using a defibrillator at the Kingaroy Shoppingworld on Saturday. (Photo: Jessica McGrath)
STAND BACK AND WAIT: Kingaroy Ambulance Committee president John Box and Cr Danita Potter demonstrate using a defibrillator at the Kingaroy Shoppingworld on Saturday. (Photo: Jessica McGrath)

MYTHBUSTERS: What you need to know about defibs

PEOPLE are often scared of using defribillators even though the device has the potential to save lives.

Kingaroy Ambulance Officer in Charge Mei-lin Dean is on a mission to educate the public about the device, also known as AEDs.

This comes after the Kingaroy Rotary club donated and placed 17 new defibrillators across the South Burnett.

"Cardiac arrests are one of the biggest causes of death in Australia," she said.

Ms Dean and the Kingaroy Ambulance Committee plan to hold free public awareness sessions during 2020 to ensure the community are comfortable using AEDs in an emergency.

QAS Darling Downs Community and Engagement supervisor Suzette Dakin said using a defibrillator increased a patient's chances.

"It's about starting CPR early and getting a defibrillator on -the two together is what saves lives," she said.

Kingaroy Ambulance Committee president John Box and Cr Danita Potter demonstrate CPR at the Kingaroy Shoppingworld on Saturday. (Photo: Jessica McGrath)
Kingaroy Ambulance Committee president John Box and Cr Danita Potter demonstrate CPR at the Kingaroy Shoppingworld on Saturday. (Photo: Jessica McGrath)

Here are four common myths about AEDs:

Myth 1: The AED will shock the wrong patient

Ms Dean said the defibrillators were designed to only work on a person who had gone into cardiac arrest.

"It won't shock the wrong patient," Ms Dean said.

An AED will not work on anyone with a normal heart rhythm.

Myth 2: An AED is hard to use

Ms Dakin said AEDs were foolproof and gave clear, audible and concise instructions when it was used.

"It's totally automatic, you've got to listen to the machine," she said.

Myth 3: You have to be a certain age to learn

Ms Dakin said anyone could learn to use an AED.

"A nine-year-old that learns today can easily tell an adult," she said.

"They are a tactile learner who can tell an adult how to put the pads on the chest."

Ms Dakin's goal for 2020 is to start basic CPR and defibrillator awareness lessons in South Burnett schools.

"We need to start teaching the young," she said.

"I like to target the Year 5 and 6 students, before they start high school and driving cars."

Myth 4: There's a chance of being sued

Anyone who helps an unconscious person with cardiac arrest is covered under law.

Any community groups who are keen to have members to undertake CPR and AED training are encouraged to get in contact with the Kingaroy Ambulance committee.

South Burnett

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