Ambulance Vic CEO Tony Walker says figures show more cardiac arrest patients are surviving (File).A record number of Victorian patients are surviving cardiac arrests, with paramedics reaching them sooner.
The 2016/17 state-wide ambulance response times to cardiac arrests had patients being defibrillated on average within 9.2 minutes, one minute faster than the previous year.
“There’s a jumbo jet of people alive today as a result of the work that our paramedics, firefighters, bystanders and others do,” Ambulance Victoria chief executive Tony Walker told reporters on Tuesday.
“Three-hundred-and-seventy-nine Victorians survived last year, 20 more than the year before.
“And this is one of the hardest measures we have, these are people who are clinically dead.”
Paramedics treated 6034 cardiac arrest patients, the most ever, with the survival rate for patients in a shockable rhythm the highest ever at 34 per cent and increasing to 37 per cent when a bystander intervenes.
Prof Walker says the increased number of patients is in line with ‘s ageing population and is not cause for concern.
“The reality is we have an ageing community, cardiac arrest is occurring out there in the community as people, and also the community is growing, so I think on a per capita basis the number of cardiac arrests are about the same,” he said.
Meanwhile, Premier Daniel Andrews says he doesn’t think Victoria’s growing infrastructure construction, which is impacting on traffic congestion, will prevent ambulance responses.
“We’ve had a pretty busy infrastructure program over the last three years and each of those years we’ve seen response times come down,” he told reporters.
“I’m very confident Ambulance Victoria can manage both the infrastructure challenge and also with extra resources … we’re going to keep working hard to drive those numbers down even further.”