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Countdown defibrillator program delivers early success

Image of AED machine

Countdown has installed Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) at 183 supermarkets across New Zealand to help people having medical emergencies in or near the stores.

The voice-instructed AED machines are supervised by trained first aiders – with one rostered in every store during operating hours.

Already, the machines have helped health workers tend to patients on at least four occasions, including once in Silverdale, north of Auckland.

“It’s incredibly humbling to know that our team and AEDs have been able to provide help for four New Zealanders when they absolutely needed it  the most,” said Kiri Hannifin, Countdown GM for safety. “Saving one life would have been a fantastic outcome after year one, but saving four lives has really made our year.” 

New Zealand Red Cross supports the initiative to help save more lives and urges Kiwis to be familiar with the AED machines, which are now available in every community around the country.

“More than 2000 people are treated every year in New Zealand for cardiac arrest. Sadly, of which only 14 per cent survive.  For every minute without CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) or treatment from an AED, a person’s chances of surviving a cardiac arrest decreases by about 10 per cent,” said Marcus Bird, New Zealand Red Cross national products manager. 

“We’re about to come into the busiest time of the year in stores and malls, and this year with the borders closed, we know that Kiwis are preparing to travel around the country more than ever.  With more than 2000 cardiac arrests happening every year in New Zealand, there is a very high chance that the machines will need to be used over the summer.  We want people to know there are AEDs in their community, including at Countdown.”

Shoppers can access where the AEDs are located via the app: ‘AED Locations’ available in Google Play or App Store.

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