If you were to see a person “drop dead” all of a sudden, are you capable of doing the hands only Cardiac resuscitation?
Here are some facts for you:
- Around 700, 000 (7 lac) people have Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) where the heart suddenly stops beating and pumping blood to organs, leading to sudden death every year in India.
- Around a third are in persons under 50.
- What makes the difference between dying and coming back to life for of a person who develops SCA is timely revival with CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation).
- Calling the ambulance or a doctor is what we all do, but by the time they arrive (over 15 minutes or more, even in many countries) is the time when the organs of the body have undergone irreversible damage. Hence many are declared “brought dead” by the time they reach the hospital. Timely CPR while waiting for help is ESSENTIAL.
- Most cardiac arrests occur at home; some in place of work or in public places. It could happen to someone close to you too.
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) made a dramatic re-entry in the public minds recently when Damar Hamlin, a 34 year-old celebrated American football player, suddenly collapsed on the ground during a match, to the horror of spectators. It took just a couple of minutes to realize that he had sustained a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). His heart had stopped beating, and he was almost dead.
Para-medics then rushed on to the field and started thumping Hamlin’s chest, giving him external cardiac massage. He was resuscitated within nine minutes, restarting the stopped heart, just in time to save his brain from damage! He was then shifted to hospital where he was treated further, and is now back home.
The American Cardiac Association acknowledges and stress how TIMELY action (mind you, not BEST, by a famous cardiologist) can save more lives, and reinforced the need for banking on paramedics and “common” people to provide it.
Several movements are already on to provide training and make every person “CPR literate” as one never knows when the situation could arise.
Institutions such as schools, colleges, work offices and transport crews are particularly encouraged to learn first aid and CPR.
Remember it could happen in your home too; many of us live years cursing doctors and hospitals for someone we lost but shrink away from the uncomfortable question “could you have done things differently?”
Learn about CPR by reading up about Damar Hamlin’s story and join in on a CPR training course.