Nicole Larter introduced Donna Koik a colleague at St John’s Ambulance where she is the Training Officer. Donna has been a teacher at primary schools and at TAFE. Tonight, she is speaking on behalf of “Heart Matters”, a project designed to save lives through community education, and jointly sponsored by the Heart Foundation, Ambulance Victoria, Monash University & the Victorian Government.
Donna made the point that heart disease is the single leading cause of death in Australia, with a heart attack of some kind occurring every 9 minutes.
Why was she working in Warrnambool? Because research shows:-
1. there is a high risk of heart disease here;
2. heart health knowledge is low here; and
3. there is statistically low use of 000/ambulances here.
Donna went through the warning signs of a heart attack (pain/pressure/tightness in chest, arms, shoulders and back, neck or jaw; shortness of breath; dizziness; sweatiness; or nausea). She distributed a card showing all this in clear form, ready backed by magnetic strips, for display on the refrigerator or other.
Donna spoke about what to do if you have any of the above symptoms:-
            stop what you are doing an rest
            tell someone you are not feeling well      
            call 000.,
and provided another magnet backed card with this information.
Much emphasis placed on 000 and calling for ambulance support. Every minute counts. Modern ambulances are emergency wards on wheels – treatment starts as soon as they arrive, rather than just being transported to A&E.
Address your risk factors:- eating right & obesity; smoking; lack of exercise; excessive alcohol intake.
Ask your GP for a “Heart Health Check”, if you are over 45 and don’t already have heart disease.
Rotarian Nicole thanked Donna for her timely and informative talk, and also for the information pack which she gave to each person present.