Friday 25 January 2019

BCH Senior Nurses Pat McCabe and Trina Coxon are playing an important role within the community by responding to crisis situations with assistance of the GoodSAM app.

Last week the Victorian Government released the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry (VACAR) which showed that 82 people were defibrillated with a publicly-accessible defibrillator in the 2017/18 financial year.

In 2017/18, 32 per cent of all cardiac arrest patients who received defibrillation survived, but this increased significantly when a publicly-accessible defibrillator was used. The figures demonstrate the benefit of having automated defibrillator equipment available in the community and the growing number of Victorians who are willing to use it. In fact, increased numbers of automated defibrillators within the community combined with more confident operators has been a large reason for improved outcomes.

Jan Child, BCH CEO said, “We know that the main contributing factors to a positive outcome for people experiencing a cardiac arrest is receiving effective Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and early defibrillation. This increase was no doubt helped by the GoodSAM application which was launched by Ambulance Victoria in May last year”. 

The GoodSAM app sends an electronic call for help to off-duty first responders when people nearby are experiencing a cardiac arrest event in the community. Doctors, nurses and paramedics are able to register with the service to receive notifications of a community emergency occurring within a small radius of their residence. The app also advises of the location of the nearest publically-accessible defibrillator. This allows them to commence basic life support before an Ambulance can attend the scene.

A number of Bass Coast Health’s (BCH) local staff are registered with the app, including BCH Senior Nurses Pat McCabe and Trina Coxon, who both recently responded to medical emergencies within the Bass Coast area.


Health Service Coordinator Pat said it was a great way to support the community. “Both our partners are local paramedics, so it was a real eye-opener about the conditions they work in, compared to what we’re used to working with in a hospital environment”.

Learning, Development & Quality Manager Trina says that although the GoodSAM app is for trained responders, it’s vital that every member of the community is familiar with what to do in a health emergency.

“We held some public awareness sessions at the Wonthaggi Plaza on Restart a Heart Day in October, in collaboration with staff from the Wonthaggi branch of Ambulance Victoria. Most community members who attended were quite nervous about how to perform basic life support and use an automatic defibrillator before the session, but it was great to see their confidence rise by the time we’d finished”.


Jan Child praised Trina and Pat and all the BCH staff who have participated in the GoodSAM program. “We are very proud of the excellent role that Pat and Trina are playing in supporting the community in crisis situations.  Trina and Pat are two of our best senior nurses who play an important role in BCH service delivery, and now play an important role in our local community”. 


For more information about the GoodSAM app, go to