Newly inducted Australian Resuscitation Club member Shayne Baker on duty with Miami Surf Lifesaving Club.
Newly inducted Australian Resuscitation Club member Shayne Baker on duty with Miami Surf Lifesaving Club.

Call for seniors to learn how to resuscitate

WITH the start of another summer, what would you do if faced with a medical emergency on the beach, by the pool, lake or river or even at home or on the street?

"Any attempt at CPR is better than none," said Royal Life Saving Society of Australia national education and training adviser and life member Shayne Baker.

Shayne, a patrol member at Miami Surf Life Saving Club and formerly at Neptune RLSC at Tallebudgera, was recently inducted into the Australian Resuscitation Club and urges everyone to learn both water safety and resuscitation skills.

Shayne's induction recognised his efforts in helping to save a young man with Down syndrome who almost drowned at a Toowoomba pool. He was one of four people recognised in Toowoomba, with two of the others being masters swimmers who resuscitated a fellow club member after a medical episode at another pool.

As proof that your resuscitation skills can be needed anytime, anywhere, Shayne has also been involved in recent years in unsuccessful attempts to resuscitate a beachgoer at Tallebudgera, and successfully resuscitating a neighbouring passenger on a plane.

For seniors, he said it was more important than ever to learn resuscitation, given the larger role many are taking in caring for grandchildren and the more active lifestyle they are leading in general.

Shayne Baker (bottom right) with fellow members of Miami Surf Lifesaving Club.
Shayne Baker (bottom right) with fellow members of Miami Surf Lifesaving Club.

According to statistics, roughly one-third of the people you are likely to help will be loved ones, one-third people you know, and one third workmates, with a small percentage being strangers.

CPR techniques need to be taught properly but have been simplified in recent years, Shayne said.

Regardless of the patient's age, resuscitation now involves 30 compress-ions to every two breaths, the only difference being the depth of the compressions and therefore whether fingers or the whole hand are used. You can also easily learn how to use a defibrillator, which increases the chance of survival by 70 per cent for someone suffering cardiac arrest.

With so much of Australian lifestyle, particularly on the coast, centred around the outdoors and interaction with water, Shayne said it was vital that everyone of every age and nationality learnt water safety. And not just beachgoers, because camping, fishing, kayaking, bushwalking, pool activities, picnics by the river and farm dams are all potential hazards.

Shayne said it was a common misconception that most drownings occurred at the beach, because these incidents gained more media coverage due to beaches being more public areas.

But most drownings occur in inland waterways - rivers, dams, creeks and lakes - with the seemingly harmless smooth surfaces potentially hiding currents, undertows and submerged objects.

To find out more about how you or your group can organise resuscitation training, phone Shayne on 0411 073 428, go to www.royallifesaving. com.au, or phone St John Ambulance on 1300 785 646 or go to stjohnqld.com.au.


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