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A Cardiac Arrest Survival Foundation Initiative.

The Defibmat

News release:

Cardiac Arrest Survival Foundation

October 11, 2016

Shoctober: Health initiative in heart of Sydney

World Square in central Sydney will be transformed into Australia’s largest cardiac arrest awareness centre.

The Sydney development covers an entire city block and welcomes more than 25 million visitors each year. It is the ideal place to install public defibrillators – and to launch Shoctober on Wednesday October 12.

Otherwise known as Defib Awareness Month, Shoctober is aimed at addressing the leading cause of sudden death in Western society: cardiac arrest.

It promotes the importance of properly installed and monitored public defibrillators, or defibs, which can deliver an electric current to counter ventricular fibrillation and other life-threatening cardiac problems.

“Shoctober aims to raise awareness of how defibs need not be intimidating,” says Wallabies rugby legend Nick Farr-Jones, who is patron of the organising body, the Cardiac Arrest Survival Foundation.

“The newest machines can be used by anyone without specialist training. They use voice commands to talk the new user through the operation, stage by stage, and autonomously monitor the victim’s heart rate and other crucial factors.”

Since being installed on the Sydney Trains network in 2009, public defibrillators have saved 35 lives.

World Square’s management company, Brookfield, is using the opportunity to run a Defibrillator Awareness Program in the centre’s Lobby area. The Shoctober organisers – the Cardiac Arrest Survival Foundation (CASF) – are encouraging all workplaces to do the same.

The program involves a simple but carefully structured five minute demonstration of how to use the defibs and where to access them, as every second can be crucial.
Also in attendance at today’s launch will be defibrillator experts plus three survivors of cardiac arrest, all of whom owe their lives to the availability of a public defibrillator and swift action by others.

Where and when

The Lobby, World Square
680 George St Sydney.
Wednesday October 12
8:00am – 8:30am

Meet the survivors and talk with the experts.

Key People at Shoctober launch

  • Nick Farr-Jones, Wallaby legend and Patron of Cardiac Arrest Survival Foundation.
  • Avril Hodge mother of one of the 35 cardiac arrest victims whose lives have been saved by public defibs on the Sydney Trains network.  Avril’s daughter was saved in April 2016.  She was only 24 years old at the time.
  • Tony Collins, Central Coast grandfather, saved at the Crowne Plaza Terrigal, by the rescue ready staff on duty.
  • Harry Paananen, 52 year old father of three saved at Redfern station by the swift action of Sydney Trains staff – he was shocked 7 times.
  • Dr Chris Quirk cardiologist and spokesperson for the Cardiac Arrest Survival Foundation.


For more information and to organise interviews

Nick Farr-Jones, Dr Chris Quirk (cardiologist), and cardiac arrest survivors are available for interview.
Phone: Caroline Wayne (0417) 190 038

Cardiac Survival Stories

Shoctober 2016 Photos. Click for high resolution