Coles looking out for 21m customers in heart project

Coles is partnering with the Heart Foundation to encourage its 21 million weekly customers to look after their hearts.

The partnership comes as Coles deploys automated external defibrillators (AEDs) during June to all the retailer’s 820 supermarkets, to provide rapid aid to customers or team members having a sudden cardiac arrest.

Victorian cardiac arrest survivor Grant Fraser, 57, said the heart attack that nearly killed him was totally unforeseen.

“I’ve always been relatively fit with a good diet, so it was completely surreal when in October 2017 I fell victim to a coronary incident,” he said.

“Even after I knew I was having a heart attack I didn’t think that my heart would effectively stop for three minutes. I was dead, so if I hadn’t had access to the defibrillator in the emergency department of the Ballarat Hospital I wouldn’t have recovered.

It’s understandable that Mr Fraser endorses Coles’ initiative of introducing defibrillators to its stores.

Heart disease is Australia’s biggest killer, with more than 18,000 people losing their lives through the disease each year – equivalent to two deaths every hour. In launching this nationwide awareness drive, Coles is supporting the Heart Foundation in its mission to encourage more Australians to have a health heart check with their doctor.

Heart health checks are now covered by Medicare for eligible Australians and Coles will promote the Heart Foundation’s message in-store, via social media channels and by reaching out directly to millions of flybuys members over the coming months.

Heart Foundation Group CEO Adjunct Professor John Kelly congratulated Coles for taking an active role in protecting the heart health of Australians.

“Coles will make AEDs more accessible so they can be deployed quickly in an emergency, which will save lives,” he said. “AEDs are critical to saving lives, as every second counts when a person is having a cardiac arrest.

“We also thank Coles for helping the Heart Foundation extend our heart health message to Coles shoppers. We’re encouraging Australians to take advantage of a new Medicare benefit and see their GP for a heart health check.”

Coles Director of Safety David Brewster says the safety of customers and team members is a top priority at Coles, with a minimum of five team members at every supermarket trained and accredited in first aid by St John Ambulance Australia.

Heart Foundation General Manager of Heart Health Bill Stavreski says heart health checks are the best way to understand and manage the risk of heart disease, as many risk factors are silent or have no visible symptoms.

“The Heart Foundation recommends that people aged 45 to 74 years have a heart health check at least every two years, sooner if recommended by their doctor,” he said. “For indigenous Australians, the checks should start at age 30.”

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