On 12 February a customer collapsed at the checkout from a sudden cardiac arrest. Staff – who were first aid trained by New Zealand Red Cross – quickly responded, providing CPR and using the store’s AED.

The AED analysed the customer’s heart and automatically delivered a customised shock. Before the ambulance arrived, the patient was already breathing on his own.

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death and can strike without warning. It is the most likely cause of a fatality in many workplaces, but less than 10 per cent of those experiencing a cardiac arrest survive, primarily because of delays in treatment of this highly time-critical condition.

AEDs are easy to use with no buttons to push, and easy to follow step by step instructions. Even first-time users can successfully use these fully automatic defibrillators.

For a person who collapses and is not breathing, early CPR and defibrillation gives the person the best chance of survival.

“The staff at Pak’nSave were very confident and clearly knew what action to take and as a result they saved a life,” says Red Cross Product Development Manager Marcus Bird.

“Health and safety is about caring, for colleagues, for customers and for other people around us. First aid training for staff and having an AED on-site is a very practical way of showing that.”

Red Cross has worked with Wainoni Pak’nSave for many years, facilitating first aid and AED training and support. 

If you are interested in getting an AED, we would love to hear from you. Contact us on save@redcross.org.nz or 03 339 7111 or visit our online shop for more information.