Heart of the Nation is proud to say that for more than 2 years, it has been working hard to raise awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and the Chain of Survival, with the goal of increasing survival rates for those who experience a sudden cardiac arrest.
We have undertaken many initiatives and collaborations with other organisations in order to achieve this, and below you will see the just some of the detail of these programs and initiatives.
AED RECOGNITION PROGRAM
Heart of the Nation has been working hard to give a pat on the back to those who have publicly accessible AEDs, to help ensure that AEDs are
A Heart of the Nation sticker on the front door or window of a business, shop, workplace or residence means that inside, you will find an AED ready to be used to try to save a life. Because our members volunteer their location to us, we want to recognise them by showing they are part of our network, and at the same time, let YOU know they have what it takes to save a life - so look for a Heart of the Nation sticker, and support those who support you. Currently there are more than 4,500 locations around Australia registered to the Heart of the Nation Network as members.
AED SIGNAGE AND CABINETS
Once you are inside a building with an AED, it needs to be easily identifiable AS an AED and not a first aid box, or some other piece of utility equipment.
Currently signage for AEDs is part of the Australian (and International) Standard for "Emergency Signage" which states that it should be green and white. That Standard is not mandated as law anywhere in Australia. Hence, you will see a variety of AED signs out in the community.
However, making AED signs the same colour as other emergency signage means it can be difficult to distinguish, especially in areas where there are a lot of emergency signs (such as shopping centres or an airport), but also when it comes to trying to find an AED in a high-stress panicked moment, it could be easy to be looking for a white box with a green and white sign on it, that turns out to be a first aid cabinet.
Yellow signage sets an AED apart from first aid, fire equipment, emergency exits and other compulsory signs.
Heart of the Nation has conducted research that reveals a staggering 73% of people surveyed, believe that the yellow signage proposed by Heart of the Nation is easier to identify and distinguish an AED from a first aid cabinet, and is more appropriate to uniquely identify the location of an AED.
Imagine how simple it could be to distinguish an AED from any other piece of emergency equipment or infrastructure if signage AND cabinets were BOTH yellow! A uniform and unique system of identification. Below is a screenshot of just SOME of the different styles of AED cabinets available - note there is red, green, white yellow....
Yellow just seems to make sense when it comes to distinguishing this lifesaving piece of equipment from scissors and gauze - 88% of people surveyed agree about cabinets being yellow to distinguish from other infrastructure.
AED Locator App with Bystander Response Feature
Given that Heart of the Nation has a large database of AEDs registered as part of the Heart of the Nation network, it made sense to be able to show these locations on an app. There were already numerous apps in existence, and Heart of the Nation reached out to organisations that operated similar apps in an effort to collaborate rather than build yet another app. But no response was received regarding collaboration or sharing of our data with them, or some other government agencies. So, in an effort to save lives and not waste the useful data that we have, we built our own app so the community can find these locations more easily. PLUS, they can call for help from emergency services and nearby Registered Responders at the same time, all from within the one app!
Regular Maintenance Program
Part of the Heart of the Nation mantra is that AEDs should be "actionable" - rescue ready - at all times. To help our network members achieve this, we provide them access to our proprietary maintenance platform to help them keep track of their routine maintenance; once a month. This way, they have a record of the fact that they have checked that their AED is working should anyone ever ask to check that they have been diligent with ensuring their AED is actionable at all times!
Heart of the Nation Communities
Up to 80% of sudden cardiac arrests occur in the home - but when you're at home, how far away is your nearest AED?
Band together with your neighbours to raise funds for an AED to be located on the wall of someone's house so it can be accessed by the group at any time of the day or night. Find someone to be the "AED House" in your street or neighbourhood, and this "system to save lives" could do exactly that one day!
We are currently working with 310 communities around Australia while they fundraise for an AED for their street or neighbourhood. We hope to expand this program, making AEDs more accessible to people where the most amount of cardiac arrests occur.
AEDs in Police Vehicles
In June 2020, it came the attention of Heart of the Nation that NSW Police only emergency service that did NOT have AEDs in them. Shortly after that, Heart of the Nation committed to working to ensure that NSW Police vehicles could be on par with other emergency services in the state, given that they are often first on-scene at emeregencies.
Finally, after 2 years, we are pleased to share that NSW Police have committed to a 12 month trial of AEDs in the The Hills Police Area Command. This trial, if successful, would mean that in 12 months from September 2022, we could see AEDs as standard in ALL general duties and highway patrol vehicles. This is a huge step toward NSW being able to meet the 10 programs set out by the Global Resuscitation Alliance, as well as other jurisdictions in the world that consider it "best practice" in terms of increasing survivorship from cardiac arrest for police vehicles to have AEDs on board.
Basic Life Support Skills Education in Schools
In jurisdictions where CPR and AED education (Basic Life Support Skills) are taught in schools, there is a correlation to increased survival rates - in some places, a doubling of the survival rate has been seen within 5 years.
Heart of the Nation has been working with key stakeholders including the Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC), Ambulance Victoria (AV) and Heart Foundation, to establish a trial of BLS education in schools that sits in accordance with the Position Statement from the European Resuscitation Council and endorsed by the World Health Organisation.
This position statement is titled, "Kids Save Lives", and is designed to empower organisations around the world to lobby relevant government bodies and agencies to introduce mandatory BLS training in schools.
The trial that is being undertaken at the end of 2022 will take place in some Victorian schools, and involves just 50 minutes of education over a 2-lesson time-frame. The program will be evaluated at the end of the trial, with a view to refining the program and then rolling it out in all Victorian schools for years 7-10, and then hopefully around the country in every state and independent school.
Champions Program - AED Scavenger Hunt
Help us find and locate AEDs in the community! Sign up to become a Heart of the Nation Champion, and use your Champion code to register AEDs to the Heart of the Nation network, and each month you could win a $100 Bunnings Gift Card, as well as the chance to win an Apple iPad Pro at the end of the year!
With thousands of AEDs in the community to find, there's plenty of opportunity to win!
Cricket Australia Community Heart Program
Heart of the Nation is very proud to work alongside Cricket Australia and Stryker to deliver this program for Cricket Clubs to purchase an AED for their teams.
So far, with thanks to the Australian Cricketers Association's Grassroots Cricket Fund, we have been able to help 200 teams get access to an AED. If you would like to participate in the program, go to our own webpage that explains about the fundraising aspect whereby teams/clubs can fundraise to get an AED package, OR go to www.grassrootscricketfund.com.au to find out about the next round of grants that enable eligible clubs to purchase using a grant from ACA via the Grassroots Cricket Fund!
The World's Largest CPR Class
In September, 2020, just 8 months after his cardiac arrest, our Founder and CEO, Greg Page, together with Nextdoor Australia, produced the first ever, "World's Largest CPR Class" broadcast. Live-streamed on Youtube, the program lasted just over 75 minutes, attracted around 24,000 viewers, and included music, stories and of course, instruction on how to do CPR and use an AED. Joining Greg to support the cause on the night, was entertainment reporter and legend of the TV industry, Richard Wilkins, The Wiggles, Sister2Sister (S2S) and former Australian cricketer, Shane Lee.
In 2021, with the assistance of Channel 9, and the support of Heart of the Nation network member New Sunrise, The World's Larges CPR Class was broadcast as a 1 hour TV special on the Nine Network right around Australia, which went to air on World Restart a Heart Day. Greg was joined again by Richard Wilkins, this time as the main anchor host for the program. The program was a huge success with hundreds of thousands of Aussie being exposed to the CALL PUSH SHOCK messaging through the TV special and its associated promotion. The special covered stories from Heart of the Nation friends and ambassadors, Brett Lee, Ian Harrison, Ian Hutchinson and Don MacKee, Justine Phillips as well as visits from Layne Beachley, Mitch and Mark from The Block (2021) and instruction provided once again by Surf Life Saving NSW.
Heart of the Nation believes that solving the problem of sudden cardiac death is going to involve business, not-for-profit, the community AND government. However, getting politicians to understand the problem, let alone the solution, is not always an easy task!
Government advocacy is one thing that we are determined to keep pursuing at all three tiers - Federal, State and Local. From meeting with the Prime Minister to local Mayors, each meeting is important, as it raises the awareness of these community leaders, and we hope that through the increased awareness, change can be effected through policy and legislation.
Heart of the Nation recently worked with NSW Minister for Digital Government and Customer Service, Victor Dominello, as part of the working group on creating a state-wide AED registry. We have also supported a Bill put to the South Australian Parliament by SA Best MP, Frank Pangallo that calls for the mandating of AEDs in all public buildings (including schools and universities), as well as the creation of a database to be linked to a responder app. All of these things work in with our mission to educate, proliferate, locate and activate.
AuSCAA - The Australian Sudden Cardiac Arrest Alliance
Heart of the Nation is proud to have been a part of the working group to create the Australian Sudden Cardiac Arrest Alliance. The alliance brings together great minds from all fields and realms that deal with sudden cardiac death - whether it be researchers, clinicians, interventionalists, pre-hospital carers, lay-responders or rehabilitation program providers - the aim is to give everyone a voice. Through the work of all of these groups striving together under one banner, we hope that our combined resources and voice, are all amplified to both Government and the community.
Journal Papers and Research
Our Founder, Greg Page, has contributed as a co-author to numerous papers. These papers cover a range of topics to do with Sudden Cardiac Arrest - from teaching CPR and basic life support skills in schools, to perspective pieces on the patient journey, or society's need to bring in laws to effect change.
Greg's passion for raising awareness takes many forms, and writing journal articles and new perspectives that push the awareness and message to audiences that otherwise may not receive via pathways that would not otherwise be available to Greg if not for the great minds that Greg has come across in his work with Heart of the Nation.
Along with co-authors such as Professor Pramesh Kovoor, Joshua Kovoor, Dr. Elizabeth Paratz, Professor Chris Semsarian, Professor Andre La Gerche, Professor Sumeet Chugh, Associate Professor Janet Bray and many other esteemed researchers, writers and authors.
His work has been published in Heart Rhythm 02, Emergency Medicine Australasia, and Heart Lung and Circulation.
Community Awareness and Education
Our founder Greg Page, is passionate about raising awareness and spends a great deal of time on the road, visiting community groups and giving presentations to people who want to know more about Sudden Cardiac Arrest and the Heart of the Nation mission. Greg volunteers all of his time to do this, and is not a paid employee of the charity.
Whether it be attending conferences, workplaces, community education sessions or fetes and fundraisers, Greg is there to help share his story and the Heart of the Nation mission.
My Medic Watch - A Collaboration
A really exciting collaboration is working to deliver something that will be coming soon. Heart of the Nation was put in touch with My Medic Watch - an Australian med-tech company that has already developed apps for falls and epilepsy, and are now turning their attention to cardiac monitoring.
Combining the ability for the future My Medic Watch smartwatch app to detect the absence of a heart rhythm, with the Heart of the Nation app's ability to send alerts to nearby responders, (such as your neighbours!), this collaboration could be extremely powerful in terms of turning what would otherwise be unwitnessed cardiac arrests into "pseudo witnessed cardiac arrests", thereby increasing the potential to lift survival rates if sudden cardiac arrest patients are found sooner!