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DOH, heart doctors spearhead mass CPR training

The Department of Health (DOH), together with heart expert members of the Philippine Heart Association (PHA), conducted the third Nationwide Mass CPR (cardiac pulmonary resuscitation) Training on July 16 at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex. On hand to support them were the Department of Education, Philippine Red Cross, American Heart Association and the local government. Muntinlupa is the central station in Metro Manila.

A similar activity was also done simultaneously in the various regional offices of the DOH and designated CPR sites in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao to underscore the need to make everyone become familiar on how to properly perform CPR to save lives.

An advocacy project of the country’s heart doctors, the PHA and its allies, have been working double time to clinch the  CPR-ready Philippines status  by 2021.

The PHA is grateful that the government’s health agency adopted the two-year-old project, which aims to produce hands-only CPR-savvy Filipinos  who are capable of saving the life of  a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) or drowning victim. Under the DOH as the implementing agency,  this year’s campaign is dubbed  “CPR-Ready Philippines—Mass CPR.”

The yearly training, which started in April 2016, aims to produce at least 20 million CPR-ready Filipinos by 2021. Based on the latest United Nations estimates, the Philippine population is 106, 547,797 as of July 12, 2018. With five CPR-trained Filipinos per family, the Philippines will have 20 million CPR-Ready Filipinos out of the 100 million populations, according to the DOH.

To further increase the cardiac arrest or drowning victim’s chance of survival, hands-only CPR should be followed by defibrillation  with the use of a very handy life-saving device AED.

Proper chest compression is 100 to 120 per minute, 2.5-inch deep chest pumps for two to four minutes or until help arrives. Heart doctors said it is a must to do cardiogenic shock with an AED during the most critical time of beating the four-minute limit to prevent brain damage.  Failure to revive the heart will block the supply of oxygen to the brain. After eight minutes of not being able to revive the heart, one is brain dead.

The trainees come from all walks of life—barangay workers, tanods emergency and rescue response units, police and other security staff, local government personnel, educational institution faculties, students,  civic organizations, employees from the private and government sectors; and other laymen aged 8 years old and above.

This gigantic activity is an offshoot of the CPR Law or Republic Act 10871 that  will soon be implemented. The CPR law mandates the incorporation of basic/age-appropriate CPR skills into the K to 12 school curriculum.

SCA and drowning cases are on the rise, the PHA said.

“Instead of being mere lookers-on or passive eye witnesses, bystanders or who are on the site, should be the first health emergency responders. You don’t have to be a doctor or a nurse to be able to give the SCA or drowning victim a new lease on life.  By being CPR equipped, you have the confidence or are empowered to administer CPR on the victim. Almost 70 percent of  SCA  occur in public places or  outside of hospitals,” PHA President Dr. Nannette Rey explained.

The PHA is committed to train laymen, especially those who do field work because they are most exposed to emergency situation.

“We are thankful that we have a growing number of allies. We can’t thank Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi for opening their grounds to the public and first and foremost, mobilizing their allies and requiring constituents to be proactive in this CPR-ReadyPh.21 Campaign,” Rey said.

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