Cardiac arrest survey key findings

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The Heart Foundation conducted a nationally representative online survey of 1,076 adults aged over 18 years conducted in July 2017. Key findings are summarised below.

What would you do if someone was having a cardiac arrest?

  • More than 60 per cent said they would call an ambulance.
  • More than one in four said they would perform CPR, but only three per cent would try and locate a defibrillator.
  • One in ten said they wouldn’t know what to do in this situation.

How long could someone having a cardiac arrest survive without CPR or defibrillation?

  • More than one in five Australians believe a person would die within minutes of a cardiac arrest without CPR or defibrillation, with one in six saying survival would be between three and five minutes.
  • Thirty per cent were unsure how long a person would survive without intervention.

Awareness of and confidence in performing CPR

  • The majority had heard of CPR and were able to identify when it might be needed, with only one in ten being unsure as to when a person might require CPR.
  • Forty per cent said they would not feel confident in their ability to perform CPR
  • Fourteen per cent said they would not perform CPR on a stranger, and 10 per cent said they wouldn’t even perform CPR on someone they know.  This was mainly due to lack of knowledge about how to perform CPR.
  • When told that a person’s chance of survival would more than double if CPR was performed, close to two in three said they would be more likely to perform CPR.

Training in CPR

  • More than one in two survey respondents (56 per cent) had been trained in CPR, with nearly half having receiving the training at least five years ago.
  • Of those who said they had not received training, the main reasons given were that they had never thought about it (46 per cent), followed by not knowing where to go to undertake CPR training (22 per cent).
  • Three in four indicated that they would be willing to learn how to do CPR.

Awareness of and confidence in using defibrillators

  • More than 80 per cent of respondents have heard of a defibrillator and 70 per cent said they would be willing to use one to help someone in an emergency.
  • Around one in three said they would feel confident using a defibrillator, but a similar proportion said they would not feel confident doing so. The majority of those who do not feel confident was due to a lack of knowledge of how to use a defibrillator.