How RGS staff saved receptionist’s life

DESPITE the increase of cardiac disease within Rockhampton, more people are surviving, thanks to awareness and education of CPR and Automated External Defibrillators in the community.

One local who experienced the life saving benefits of this knowledge was Rockhampton Grammar School primary receptionist Lee Ann Kayes, who suffered a cardiac arrest in July.

Queensland Ambulance senior operations supervisor Brad Miers was one of the paramedics who attended the scene that day, to find Ms Kayes being tended to by trained school staff.

This invaluable training, he said on Restart a Heart Day, on Wednesday this week, was the difference between life and death for Ms Kayes.

“When we arrived, we found the staff of the school resuscitating one of their staff members,” Mr Miers said.

“We successfully resuscitated her.

“We know statistically, early resuscitation and defibrillation saves lives in and out of hospital.

“75 per cent of cardiac arrests happen in the work place or at home. We’re extremely lucky the school had highly trained staff and equipment on board.

“(It was a) fantastic example of the role of the community and emergency services and the outcome.”

Restart a Heart Day is a global initiative that emphasises the role of cardiac arrest awareness, phoning ambulance, and performing CPR and early defibrillation.

“The main message is obviously early notification - call the ambulance, early resuscitation, pushing on the chest, and if there’s an AED in the vicinity, shocking the patient prior to ambulance arrival, that helps us so much,” Mr Miers said.

“There’s no price on human life.”

Signs to look out for include sudden shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, lightheadness, nausea and vomiting.

Wednesday was the first time Mr Miers and his crew had seen Ms Kayes since July.

“I know her family quite well. It’s very rewarding for my career (of 29 years),” he said.

“Getting someone in your workplace or home trained in advanced CPR or CPR at least, has a full bearing on the outcomes.”