Colleagues make all the difference in workplace cardiac arrest

Ambulance Victoria (AV) paramedics say bystanders made all the difference in saving the life of a colleague who suffered a cardiac arrest at work.

Mildura resident and Wentworth Shire Council engineer Jag Jayasena began feeling unwell before collapsing in cardiac arrest at his workplace in April this year.

His colleagues Ryan Thomson and Jarrod Roberts immediately launched into action, calling for an ambulance, beginning CPR within a minute and attaching the office automated external defibrillator (AED) to Jag’s chest.

Victorian and New South Wales paramedics both responded to the incident, delivering six shocks with a defibrillator before achieving a return of spontaneous circulation.

Less than two months later, Jag is back at work and was able to reunite with the bystanders, paramedics and Mildura Base Public Hospital staff involved in his care, to say thank you.

Three men and a woman smiling for a photo in a professional setting.

MICA paramedics Dale Richards (left) and Jim Livingstone (second from right) reunite with Jag Jayasena and his wife Amila Dharmasena.

AV Clinical Support Officer and Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) paramedic Dale Richards attended the incident and said it was wonderful to see Jag recovered.

“Quite often we don’t get to follow up on what happens to our patients, so it was a great experience,” Dale said.

“It was quite touching – he was so grateful.

“It’s a great survival and recovery story, and a great example of bystander CPR saving lives.

“If he hadn’t received CPR until paramedics arrived, it likely would have been a very different outcome.”

Five individuals gathered around a table, engaged in a conversation and interacting with each other.

MICA paramedic Jim Livingstone speaking to Jag (centre), his wife Amila, and Jag’s colleagues Jarrod Roberts and Ryan Thomson. Photo credit: John Dooley, Mildura Base Public Hospital.

About 20 Victorians suffer a cardiac arrest every day and only one in 10 survive.

Every minute counts in a cardiac arrest and when a patient receives CPR and a shock from an AED before paramedics arrive, their chance of survival more than doubles.

Anyone can save a life in three simple steps: Call (call Triple Zero 000), Push (perform CPR) and Shock (use an AED).

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