Date posted: 20/04/2023 5 min read

Why CAs must discuss defibrillators

With the remit of managing and mitigating risk, CAs are ideally placed to talk to clients about the impact a cardiac arrest can have on a workplace. Brought to you by CellAED.

Chartered accountants may not see the cardiac health of clients as part of their remit, but they really should, according to Alan Tilley CA, chief financial officer of Rapid Response Revival.

“From an occupational health and safety perspective, it’s about providing a safe work environment,” he says. “And part and parcel of managing risk.”

The stats build a compelling argument for the value of in-house defibrillators. Associate Professor Andre La Gerche, head of sports cardiology at the Baker Institute, says around 25,000 Australians die from sudden cardiac arrest each year, including many young people. Less than 10 percent survive, and those who do face a long and painful road to recovery.

“Sudden cardiac death doesn’t discriminate; even a workforce heavy with young, fit people are at risk - we’ve all read about high profile athletes who have experienced them,” Tilley says. It’s an issue that can also hurt a company’s financial health. Economist Dr Anthony Ockwell calculated the economic impact of lives prematurely lost to sudden cardiac death at $50.2 billion each year.

However, Tilley says following the chain of survival – recognising a sudden cardiac arrest, calling emergency services, commencing CPR and using a defibrillator in the first few minutes increases the chances of survival by up to 70%.

Alan Tilley, Rapid Response RevivalPictured: Alan Tilley, Rapid Response Revival

“For every minute without defibrillation following a sudden cardiac arrest, your chances of survival decrease by 10 per cent. Workplace defibrillators are a game-changer.”
Alan Tilley, Rapid Response Revival.

Reducing risk in the workplace

Tilley also warns that legislative pressure is likely to come into play. A bill has already been introduced in South Australia that requires automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in public buildings.

“Accountants manage compliance and need to be aware of this - and that over time we expect legislation to come for AEDs similar to smoke detectors in homes,” he says.

Defibrillators have historically been expensive to purchase and maintain, which Tilley says creates issues of its own.

“Standard units can be thousands of dollars. It means smaller businesses may not be able to afford one and larger businesses may only keep one per floor. When you think about the size of a floor and number of staff, an AED needs to be within line of site, or no more than a minute away. “We’ve also found many of the AEDs already in the market are not maintained, and when called into use, don’t work because the electrode gel pads have dried out or the battery is depleted.”

Rapid Response Revival offers an easy-to-use device, CellAED®, that costs from $359. They’re backed with a $16.50 a month membership for monitoring called CellAED for life™. “In short, it provides peace of mind via a cellular connection to manage remote maintenance checks of the device including battery life and ambient temperature. The membership covers a replacement device before the product expires and a replacement device if it’s used on a patient.”

Find out more:

For information on CellAED® and how it can save lives for your clients, visit https://cellaed.io/au/mission-partner-caanz

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