6 June 2017
With sudden cardiac arrest being the leading cause of death in New Zealand adults*, Cigna and GrownUps have today joined Heart Saver’s Become a Heart Saver campaign to help address the issue.
Every day five Kiwis suffer from a sudden cardiac arrest and approximately 1500 New Zealanders die every year as a result. Simply having an AED to hand within three minutes can more than double a patient’s chance of survival.
To ensure more New Zealanders have access to an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), the number of units available in New Zealand must increase from the approximately 6,000 currently available to best practice standards of 10,000.
"We started the Become a Heart Saver campaign with the intention of getting more AEDs around the country, making them more available to everyday Kiwis. It was our goal to give away 12 AEDs over 12 months to community groups, schools or not for profit organisations in the hope of saving more lives,” says Mike Mander, Heart Saver’s Managing Director.
“We are really excited that Cigna and GrownUps have joined us on this mission - with their incredible support we can now give away two AEDs a month and help more communities.”
Commenting on the partnership, Cigna CEO Lance Walker says, “Your health is the number one asset you can protect. For the third year in a row our 360 Wellbeing survey reported that Kiwis rate cardiovascular disease as their second biggest health concern after cancer.
“Cigna, along with GrownUps, is committed to helping Kiwis improve their health and wellbeing and are really excited to support Heart Saver’s initiative to get AEDs to those that may most need one but may not be able to purchase one themselves.”
The activity is supported by Professor Harvey White, Director of Coronary Care and Cardiovascular Research at the Green Lane Cardiovascular Service, Auckland.
“With sudden cardiac arrest killing five times the national road toll each year, there is a real need to do something to help bring this number down.
“A sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, no matter how fit or healthy they are. Being able to recognise someone is having a cardiac arrest, administer CPR and quickly access an AED are the key steps to helping save a life.”
For Richard Poole, GM and co-founder of GrownUps, the need resonated personally.
“The day after attending a Heart Saver first aid course, I happened to be in a situation where I needed to use my first aid skills. I witnessed first-hand just how important it can be to have an AED on hand and I now have a unit in the back of the car at all times.”
To show their commitment to the cause, Cigna and GrownUps are kicking-off their partnership by giving away an extra AED in June to a successful applicant. The activity will be run across both the Cigna and GrownUps website and social pages.
Mike Mander says, “We congratulate Cigna and GrownUps on their focus on health and wellness for New Zealanders and really appreciate that they share our enthusiasm to educate New Zealanders about AEDs.
“Quite simply, the more AEDs there are out there, the better chance there is of saving lives.”
To find out more about the Become a Heart Saver campaign and to enter the monthly competition visit www.heartsaver.co.nz. And to understand more about Cigna and GrownUps support visit www.cigna.co.nz/cigna-and-heart-saver/.