New Zealand | Man ‘lucky’ to have heart attack near off-duty paramedics

Paraparaumu Beach NZ | At 0930 this morning Life Flight Trust responded to Paraparaumu Beach to assist a man who had a heart attack while out walking.

Life Flight responded with a Wellington Free Ambulance (WFA) Paramedic on board the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

The 65 year old Paraparaumu man was walking along the beach front in when he collapsed to the ground.

“In what has to be considered a great stroke of luck, several off duty WFA paramedics were having a coffee in a cafe across the street” says Life Flight crewman Dave Greenberg. “CPR was started as soon as they crossed the road and an ambulance was on scene, with a defibrillator, a couple of minutes later”.

When the Westpac Rescue Helicopter team arrived the man was being treated by ambulance and fire personnel.

The patient was flown to Wellington Hospital Emergency Department in a critical condition.

Tasmania | Tularaemia infection update

Tasmania | Two Tasmanians have been diagnosed with the rare infection Tularaemia. After being bitten by possums, both persons developed inflammation and ulcers of the skin at the site of the injury and tender swelling of their lymph glands. Both cases were treated by their general practitioners and specialists.

This particular form of Tularaemia was previously unknown in the southern hemisphere. A joint investigation has been launched by the Public and Environmental Health Service and the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

The investigation is complex and will take time. It involves health, wildlife and microbiology experts from Tasmania, interstate and overseas.

Wild animal survey

Possums and their ticks will be surveyed over the next month. Carcasses will be collected. Sampling will occur within five-kilometre radii of where each event happened, between Queenstown and Zeehan.

Possums appear to be the most likely source of infection for the two cases. However, the investigation will proceed with the understanding that other animals, insects, and the environment may be involved.

Depending on the findings of the first survey, the investigation may expand to involve additional wild species and areas.

Do not try to handle a sick, wild animal. Call the Animal Disease Emergency Hotline on 1800 675 888.

A review of possible past cases

No other cases of Tularaemia that were definitely acquired in Tasmania have been identified to date.

The case record review comprised:

  • a review of Tasmanian hospitalisations from recent years for suggestive clinical presentations
  • interviews with GPs on the West Coast
  • request to GPs across the state to report any current or past cases of possible Tularaemia.

To report a suspected human infection of Tularaemia, call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.


South Australia | CFS on your smartphone – Bushfire action

South Australia | The CFS smartphone application, due for launch in Bushfire Action Week 2011, will allow you to easily access timely and accurate information on just about any mobile device with internet access.

The mobile application will  provide end users with an application on their devices that delivers:

  • A list of current incidents and the ability for the user to locate incidents around them;
  • regional fire danger ratings including wind speed & direction;
  • A Prepare-Act-Survive checklist for users to assess their preparedness for a bushire;
  • Awareness of the Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS) through an interactive means
  • Access to up-to-date bushfire fact sheets;
  • The ability for users to communicate with other members of the public of their intention to leave their property in times of high fire danger.

The CFS is launching it’s social media presence in Bushfire Action week, including a Twitter feed and Facebook page informing the public about current incidents, and a community page to spread important community safety updates, warnings, and news from ┬áthe SA Country Fire Service.

Follow @cfsalerts on Twitter or “like” SA Country Fire Service and CFSUpates on Facebook.

As always, you should never rely on one source for critical emergency information, and always call 000 in an emergency.