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Together we will build a Nation of Lifesavers

If you witness someone having a cardiac arrest, don’t be afraid to act, especially since that person may be someone you know in a familiar setting.

World Restart a Heart Day, 16 October, is a global initiative from the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) to raise awareness of the effectiveness of bystander CPR and educate more people about Hands-Only CPR.

Less than 5% of Indians are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Heart disease is the leading cause of death in India. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in India. One in four deaths in India is due to cardiovascular diseases.

According to the American Heart Association, CPR is an emergency lifesaving procedure performed after the heart stops pumping blood. As a subsidiary of the Association, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of India (HSFI) has embarked on a movement to build a Nation of Lifesavers.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of India, in cooperation with the ICATT foundation, SEMI, COVID India campaign, and others trained over 4,557 bystanders, volunteers, medical students, community healthcare workers, doctors, police personnel, and nurses in CPR and first aid. This feat was accomplished within a span of three days (24-26 September) at the amega-training program organized in the district of Chitradurga, Karnataka. Attendees were taught how to stop bleeding, stabilize fractures, approach and assist an unconscious victim, recognize the early signs of stroke and heart attack, and access timely health services, and hands-only CPR. These trainings were delivered respecting all COVID safe practices and social distancing guidelines.

In a first-of-its-kind event, all participants had access to one-on-one high-quality manikins to practice CPR at the same time.

The 4,557 people trained will now be visiting 189 Gram Panchayats in Chitradurga and aim to train more than 300,000 bystanders on Hands-Only CPR during the second half of October 2021.

The rising cases of heart-related ailments even amongst youngsters in these COVID times demand more such events to be held in various parts of the country and can save precious lives.

Quotes –

Dr. Subroto Das, Padma Shri Awardee, Board Member of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of India said, “CPR is a skill taught very commonly in government, in Health, Road Safety and Disaster Management settings. Yet it has not caught on the way it should outside of these settings. However, HSFI has created just not ripples but a tectonic movement for CPR in India through this training at Chitradurga – training 4,557 trainers at once is unheard of in India, and HSFI achieved this. This now needs to be scaled up with other districts taking it up.”

Dr. Naga Nischal, SEMI President (Karnataka), stated, “You can save a life too! You don’t need to be a doctor, nurse, or healthcare professional to save a life. Anyone, anywhere, anytime can perform CPR it is a simple technique for anyone to save a life. In this era of work from home, more lives could be saved from home by learning this simple skill.”

KS Naveen, Organising President at Sharana Samaskruthi, Utsava said, “When every second counts, a trained layman can perform these lifesaving skills that can make a difference between life and death.”

Dr. Shalini Nalwad, the Chairperson of ICATT Foundation, said, “A rising number of cardiac arrests are being seen in India as we are witnessing the urbanization of rural areas causing a change in lifestyle.  We still need to teach CPR to more than 98% of Indians.”

About Mahender Bansal

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