Quick action with a defibrillator saved Max’s life

SAVED: Max and Lyn Connell of Iluka with the defibrillator unit that saved Max’s life after he had a heart attack on the bowling green of the Iluka Bowling Club.
SAVED: Max and Lyn Connell of Iluka with the defibrillator unit that saved Max’s life after he had a heart attack on the bowling green of the Iluka Bowling Club. Adam Hourigan

IF THERE is one man who knows just how important the automatic defibrillators propped up around the Valley are, it's Max Connell.

In September last year, Mr Connell had a heart attack during a quiet game at the Iluka Bowls Club.

Lucky for him, the club was equipped with a defib and fellow bowlers jumped straight in to save their mate.

Mr Connell said if it weren't for the defib, he would have died.

"If it hadn't of been for that, I wouldn't be talking to you right now," Mr Connell told The Daily Examiner.

"They should be set up in shopping centres and anywhere people will be gathered."

Mr Connell encouraged businesses operators to install defibs at their venues.

"It's an excellent idea and they will definitely save someone's life at some stage," he said.

"Even if they're not in that club or the place with the defib, people should know where they are so they can rush there if they need to."

Defibrillator so very easy to use

FROM the second someone's heart stops beating, you have 4-6 minutes to act before their brain is affected.

This is why trained first aid instructor Ross Pye is preaching to the community that if you see someone in trouble, get in and have a go straight away.

He said the biggest mistake people made was standing back and not attempting to resuscitate them.

"Yes, there is a chance you might break a rib but if you don't do anything there is 100% chance they will die," Mr Pye said.

With defibrillators set up around the Clarence Valley, the latest being in the Strand Arcade in Maclean, Mr Pye said people needed to make themselves familiar with how to work it.

"It's the simplest thing to do and it literally tells you how to do it," he said.

"Anybody can use it, even a child.

"You cannot do it wrong."

He said people needed to eliminate that fear and focus on saving a life.

"A big fear people have is about insurance, but who cares about that," he said.

"If you save their life, they're not going to be suing you,"

Mr Pye said business owners should locate their nearest defibrillator and ensure they know how to work it in case of an emergency. The Maclean Lions Club bought the new machine.

Instructions to use a defibrillator

FIRST aid instructor Ross Pye's steps to using the defibrillator:

  • 1: Ask them if they are okay. If you get a response, roll them into the recovery position. If no response, go to step 2.
  • 2: Call an ambulance.
  • 3: Tilt their head back and put your cheek near their mouth to check if they are breathing.
  • 4: Open the defib box and put the pads on the person, as shown in a diagram in the box. The defib will talk you through the steps and will only function when it needs to (ie when there is no heart beat.)
  • 5: Press the heart button and stand clear. Make sure no one is touching them.
  • 6: Wait 30 seconds, then start resuscitation.
  • 7: Check for breathing.
  • 8: Continue to do this until an ambulance arrives. DO NOT stop CPR. CPR is exhausting so gather a group of people and show them how to do it, and rotate as required.

Topics:  defibrillator heart attack

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