Kieran Salsone

Do you know where your nearest public defibrillator is?

HAVE the heart to save a life.

That is the call from the newly formed Emergency Medicine Foundation.

The group hopes to lower the number of Aussies killed by cardiac arrest each year.

Around 10,000 people, 10 times high than the national road toll, die of heart attacks annually.

Foundation director Dr Sally McCarthy said on Tuesday more than 50% of heart attack victims died before reaching hospital.

"We can increase the chance of survival for thousands of Australians just by raising awareness of publicly-accessible Automatic External Defibrillators or 'AEDs' for heart attack victims," she said.

"We want these lifesaving 'heart starters' to be a conversation starter."

Brisbane pensioner Frans Stapelberg said he owed his life to a member of the public and a defibrillator.

"One moment I was fine and then suddenly I suffered major heart attack," he said.

"I am lucky my rescuer used the portable defibrillator or I would be dead. "

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- APN Newsdesk

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