David Jamieson, pictured with his grandson Bailey, survived five heart attacks in one day in Gympie.
David Jamieson, pictured with his grandson Bailey, survived five heart attacks in one day in Gympie. Renee Pilcher

Fraser is a bad bet for survival

IF you are at risk of having a heart attack your chances of surviving are higher if you live in Gympie than the Mary Valley, the Sunshine Coast, South Burnett or Cooloola Coast.

Your chances of surviving if you live on Fraser Island are slim indeed.

A university study into how your postcode relates to the chances of survival from heart attack has Gympie ranked in the middle of the cardiac care access rating, on 4A, but places Rainbow Beach, Tin Can Bay, Kilkivan, Tiaro and prestige Sunshine Coast suburbs Sunrise and Sunshine Beach towards the lower end, on 6A.

Gympie grandfather David Jamieson survived five heart attacks in one day in February 2008.

He died five times, but was brought back each time by emergency workers.

Mr Jamieson cannot speak highly enough about the care he received in Gympie on that day and in the weeks that followed.

The index rates every single town in Australia on its proximity to cardiac care, before and after a heart attack.

Each town has been given a numeric/alpha rating, where the number (1-8) relates to proximity of emergency cardiac care, and the alphabetic letter to accessibility of services that help prevent a secondary cardiac event.

Kenilworth, with dual ratings of 8D and 6A, is not far ahead of Fraser Island on 8E - ranked among the very worst places in the country to have heart failure.

The numerical rankings go from the optimal 1 (access to principal referral centre with cardiac catheterisation service up to one hour away) to 8 (no ambulance service, more than three hours to a medical facility, with air transport required). Seventy-one per cent of Australians live in 1A locations.

Associate Professor Robyn Clark, of QUT's School of Nursing, said the index was developed by cardiology professionals and geographers to inform "residents and health professionals on what level of emergency and preventative care is available in their neighbourhood in the potentially life-threatening event of a heart attack and when they return home after a cardiac event".

While Prof Clark said the report found that 71% of Australians lived in ARIA 1A addresses, Noosa's listed areas could manage no better than 2A. These were Eumundi, Federal, Noosaville, Noosa Heads and Peregian.

"The first 60 minutes of experiencing symptoms of a heart attack or any cardiac event are the 'golden hour' in which to receive treatment and achieve the best recovery results possible," Prof Clark said.

 

HOW WE RATE

Gympie 4A

Mary's Creek 4A

Amamoor 4A

Maryborough 3A

Bundaberg 3A

Goomeri 5C

Gin Gin 5A

Glenwood 6A

Curra 6A

Amamoor Creek 6A

Kandanga 6A

Imbil 6A

Kilkivan 6A

Tiaro 6A

Rainbow Beach 6A

Tin Can Bay 6A

Tansey 6A

Gympie Times


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