Greg Page Collapse At Wiggles Show 'A Timely Reminder' To Learn First Aid
Every Australian should know CPR and basic first aid, medical experts say, and what happened to yellow Wiggle Greg Page is a timely reminder to learn it. Here's how to get the knowledge you need to save a life.
Page, the original Yellow Wiggle, suffered a cardiac arrest and stopped breathing at the end of The Wiggles' reunion concert at Castle Hill RSL on Friday night.
He was rushed to hospital and is now on the mend thanks to the band's quick thinking drummer and an off-duty nurse who administered first aid and CPR.
"We had two of our cast and crew working on him. They used the defibrillator on him two or three times," Wiggles manager Paul Field said.
They saved his life.
Nurse Grace Jones, 23, was part of the crowd when she saw Page collapse. She asked security if he needed help, and sprang into action.
“He wasn’t breathing so I just went in and did a little CPR and then someone handed me the defibrillator,” she said.
"Greg is here because she was brave enough to step forward," NSW Ambulance paramedic Brian Parsell said.
Importance Of Knowing CPR
Medical experts said the incident is a reminder of the importance of basic first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
"It's fundamental. If you have a cardiac arrest, you die very quickly. Your chance of survival drops 10 per cent for every minute you don't start resuscitation," Queensland Ambulance Service's Tony Hucker said.
"You don't have long at all. Your brain and organs need a fresh flow of oxygenated blood."
CPR involves using chest compressions to help circulate blood around the body. The pressure acts as a "pump" in place of the heart, where a patient may have stopped breathing.
The Red Cross recommends responders "give 30 chest compressions (at a rate of 100-120 per minute) followed by two breaths."
A defibrillator or AED -- automated external defibrillator -- is a device which can be used to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm. Many of these devices, stationed at shopping centres and other public venues, give easy to follow instructions on how to use them.
The use of CPR and AED can be enough to keep someone alive until an ambulance or trained medical staff arrive.
Australian Resuscitation Council's Michael Parr said the assistance rendered to Page is a "great example" of why CPR and first aid training is so important.
He said there were "several thousand preventable deaths per year" in Australia, many of which could be avoided if CPR was more widely-known.
Red Cross regional training lead Janie McCullagh said being trained in first aid response "can make a huge difference".
"The role of first aid and the first responder, when there's someone who is confident to know what to do, has resulted in lives being saved," she told 10 daily.
"It's about keeping someone alive until paramedics get there. On Friday, if that defibrillator wasn't there or nobody knew how to use it, we wouldn't know what the outcome might have been."
McCullagh, who helps deliver CPR and first aid training courses, encouraged all Australians to know basic techniques, saying "anything is better than nothing".
The Red Cross hosts workshops nationwide. It also provides basic first aid information for free through its 'First Aid App'.
Parr echoed McCullagh's words, saying "any attempt at resuscitation is better than none".
"When someone has a cardiac arrest, the things that will save them is a bystander realising they've had a cardiac arrest, starting resuscitation, and calling for help," Parr told 10 daily.
"Brain cells are very sensitive to low oxygen, and it can take just minutes for cells to die. The quicker the resuscitation, the better the outcome."
He said statistics showed the majority of cardiac arrests occur at home, or around friends and loved ones -- so learning CPR may directly save the life of someone close to you.
The ARC is lobbying state governments to make CPR training mandatory in schools as part of the education curriculum, saying the best target audience for such training is young people.
The European Resuscitation Council "recommends two hours of CPR training annually from the age of 12 years in all schools worldwide".
"When kids learn, it's like riding a bike. You probably don't need to practise it too often for it to be effective when you need it," Parr said.