Topic: Health

Māori hold highest rates for cardiac arrests

  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Māori have both the highest rates of cardiac arrests and the lowest survival rates according to new data released by St John NZ. Every year more than 1600 people die of a cardiac arrest.

Former nurse Kiri Cameron has made huge lifestyle changes since suffering from a cardiac arrest at work.

She says, “What I did was I went into the office and a colleague was there and I said I just feel funny and before I realised it I collapsed.” 

New data released by St John's shows that every minute counts when a heart stops.

Māori advisor and St John's officer Stephen Dennett says Automated External Defibrillators have been vital for cardiac arrest sufferers and have been distributed to Marae and communities.

Cameron says, “The Defibrillators on Marae project I guess would be our biggest effort thus far that has seen us gift 59 defibrillators to communities across NZ the Marae that they have gone into have been looked at where is the furthest respond times”.

Cameron suffered from a cardiac arrest in 2013 but says if she didn't have an AE Defibrillator, she may not have survived.

“That was a major plus for me was having that there because soon as they realised my heart had stopped they grabbed the AED before the ambulance got there and got a good effect.” 

St Johns says since the distribution of EA defibrillators to Marae and communities, more than 600 whānau members have completed the training.