ERVest, the ‘defibrillator of heatstroke’ launches in Australia
The ERVest has launched in Australia. It’s a medical and military-grade, self-powered, endothermic cooling device which has been labelled as the solution to immediately treat heatstroke.
Heatstroke has mortality rate of 65% in high-risk industries like mining, construction and agriculture.
Certified to be used worldwide, the ERVest can help save many Australian lives lost to heatstroke each year. In 2020, as estimated 2,191 Australians lost their lives to heatstroke in capital cities alone.
Ambulance Victoria medical director Professor Stephen Bernard has conducted a number of clinical trials which examine the effects of cooling on the body, saying that the main danger around heatstroke is the delayed treatment for injuries to the organs.
“Not only do these industries have many workers in hot environments, but they are also in remote environments. Add to that, unpredictable heatwaves, and the risk of heat-illness is very high,” he says.
Developed by CoolVest, the ERVest is able to cool a body from a fatal 42° to the safe core temperature of 37° in under an hour. Prior to the ERVest, there has been no practical immediate treatment for the often-fatal condition of heatstroke.
“The reality is that we have many workers out there at real risk of heatstroke and there are currently few effective ways to treat them on-site,” Stephen adds, welcoming the introduction of the ERVest.
“In some remote communities, you simply cannot get medical help to a person within that time. The next best treatment option would be immersion in ice cold water or placing ice packs over various parts of the body – but again, in a remote location, this is often not practical.
“To me, this is a crucial piece of equipment that should be on every work site, where it is likely the employee is exposed to heat, as part of an employer’s duty of care to their workers’ health. It should sit alongside your defibrillator, your fire extinguisher, first aid kit and so on.
“In the instance of heat stroke in a remote location it could quite literally be the difference between life and death.”
With tougher industrial manslaughter laws introduced across Australia with million-dollar fines and up to 25 years’ imprisonment, CoolVest chief executive Jonathan Weinberg is urging employers across at-risk industries to be prepared with the necessary life-saving equipment.
“Heat exhaustion can very quickly lead to a medical emergency. The concern is that for certain groups, like workers in remote locations not only are they at higher risk of heatstroke, but we just may not be able to get help to them in time,” Jonathan says.
“If every work environment with employees at risk of sustaining a heat-related injury, and first responder vehicle had access to life-saving medical equipment like the ERVest™, the 500+ lives lost each year to heat-related conditions could potentially be saved.”