19 August 2022

Patients will benefit from a statewide rollout of world-class technology and equipment in NSW ambulances worth more than $55 million which will help paramedics and specialist clinicians provide even faster, better cardiac care.

The package will equip ambulances with an additional 550 mechanical cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) Lucas devices, 1,400 state-of-the-art ECG/defibrillation devices, and a new cardiac notification platform that will improve communication between NSW Ambulance and emergency departments.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said this nation-leading investment will help save lives and provide better care for people right across the State.

"We are strengthening frontline services, delivering better services for people across the State," Mr Perrottet said.

"This is part of our record investment in our health system to ensure no matter where you live you have access to the best healthcare possible to provide people with world-class healthcare and save lives."

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the rollout would give frontline healthcare staff the best tools and most up-to-date technology available to help them carry out their vital role of saving lives.

"NSW Ambulance will be the first ambulance service in Australia to have mechanical CPR Lucas devices in every frontline ambulance, ensuring patients can receive life-saving chest compressions throughout their journey to hospital," Mr Hazzard said.

"Every second counts during a cardiac arrest. These devices give patients the best possible chance of staying alive, by supporting our highly trained paramedics to provide the best life-saving care from the minute they arrive at the patient’s side through to when they reach the hospital."

Every year about 20,000 Australians, including 8,000 people in NSW, suffer cardiac arrest out of hospital – making it the most common cause of death among adults. Just one in 10 will survive.

NSW Ambulance Chief Executive Dr Dominic Morgan said NSW Ambulance had worked with practising clinicians to develop the cardiac care package to ensure it provided the most effective tools for responding to patients suffering cardiac arrest.

"The Lucas CPR devices are a game changer as effective chest compressions are very hard to maintain for long periods, or when a patient is being moved down a flight of stairs to the ambulance, for example. These devices will provide ongoing compressions in these challenging situations," Dr Morgan said.

"Patients will also benefit from the new Corpuls 3T 12-lead ECG/defibrillators which weigh considerably less than previous defibrillators, making them safer and easier for paramedics to use. These defibrillators perform non-invasive blood pressure monitoring, capnography, pulse oximetry, temperature recording and pacing."

Mr Morgan said the new cardiac notification platform would help streamline the transfer of patients from ambulance into hospital by improving communication between emergency departments and clinicians.

"The cardiac notification platform assists with the transfer of clinical observation data from ambulances and regional hospitals to tertiary hospitals so we can provide more rapid and effective treatment to patients with suspected heart attacks."

In addition to the more than $55 million cardiac care package for NSW Ambulance, the NSW Government has invested $150 million over 10 years (2018-2028) in cardiovascular research in NSW.