Saving Lives with Defibrillators—with Guy Leech – EP102

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30,000 people die of sudden cardiac arrest in Australia each year. In the US, SCA claims an estimated 325,000. If someone has a heart incident in your workplace, at your gym, or in your home, do you know what to do? What if CPR isn’t working and first responders can’t get there in time? An SCA victim’s chances of survival increase exponentially when a defibrillator is available, and the devices are easy to use.




Guy Leech is known as Australia’s #1 Fitness Guy. He won the world’s first professional Ironman race in 1984 and stayed at the top of the sport for the next decade, winning multiple titles including that of 1988 World Ironman Champion. Guy has trained a wide range of athletes, from surfing champion Layne Beachley to Olympic gold medalist Kerri Pottharst. In 2016, a personal tragedy led Guy to his current mission of making defibrillators widely available and training people to use them confidently when faced with SCA.

Today, Guy joins us to share the story of the day he could not resuscitate his close friend with CPR alone. He walks us through the statistics around SCA, explaining why people have a much better chance of survival with a defibrillator. Guy discusses the current lack of regulations around defibrillators in public places and the prevalence of cardiovascular issues, even among athletes. Guy also describes the training regimen he followed in his competitive Ironman days, reflecting on whether or not he is healthier now. Listen in for Guy’s advice for athletes with regard to heart screening and learn how you can support his mission to increase the SCA survival rate with defibrillators!

Topics Covered

[1:19] The day that changed Guy’s life

  • Close friend heart stopped during fitness class
  • Tried to resuscitate but needed defibrillator
[4:49] The statistics around CPR and defibrillators

  • 0% chance of survival with CPR alone if electrical issue
  • 6% chance of survival without defibrillator
  • Over 70% chance of survival with defibrillator
[9:16] Why CPR courses should include defibrillator training

  • Gives confidence to use in emergency situation
  • Debunk myths (e.g.: can hurt person, can be sued)
[11:39] The current regulations around defibrillators

  • Some gyms’ internal rules require installation
  • Only 30% of gyms in Australia have defibrillators
  • Petitioning government to make mandatory
[14:34] The prevalence of cardiovascular issues

  • 12 of 200 in paddling group required stints
  • Top 1% of fitness, train 5 to 7 days/week
[17:02] Guy’s advice for athletes around heart screening

  • Recommended for anyone over 40
  • Stress test reveals what can’t see
[21:04] Guy’s current state of health and fitness

  • Overworked immune system in competitive years
  • Healthier now (but not as fast)
[23:35] Guy’s former Ironman training schedule

  • Swim for 2 hours in morning
  • Gym session, run for 1½ hours midday
  • On beach for 2 hours in afternoon
[26:24] Guy’s insight on nutrition

  • Not as much focus in 1980’s and 1990’s
  • No alcohol during training, sensible food choices
[27:00] How Guy would train differently today

  • Emphasis on recovery as important work
  • Desire to win contributed to success
[28:25] Guy’s mission for defibrillators in Australia

  • Significantly increase survival rate of SCA
  • Educate people around saving lives

Learn More About Guy Leech

Guy’s Website


Guy’s Online CPR & Defibrillator Course




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