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Cardiac arrest deaths have surged during Victoria’s lockdown

3AW Afternoons

The number of people surviving cardiac arrest during Victoria’s first lockdown dropped to half the usual rate.

The need for paramedics to don PPE has slowed down their response rate, and the number of people suffering cardiac home alone has surged due to lockdown, meaning many people are not found until it’s too late.

Mount Martha mum, Justine Phillips, was one of the lucky ones.

She suffered cardiac arrest in July.

The 46-year-old personal trainer said she never suspected she could be at risk.

“I work our five to six times a week, eat healthy, and I’m all about promoting an active and healthy lifestyle,” she told Alicia Loxley, filling in for Dee Dee.

Ms Phillips had just arrived home and was filming a home workout when she had a cardiac arrest.

Thankfully, her two children were home.

They found her unresponsive on the floor and her 16-year-old son gave her CPR until an ambulance arrived.

“I owe my life to them,” Ms Phillips said.

But many others won’t be so lucky.

If the cardiac arrest death rate continues at the rate it was at during the first lockdown, it’s estimated an extra 150 to 200 people, who would have survived under normal circumstances, will die from a cardiac arrest this year.

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