Less than 1% of Indians know CPR

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Only 2 percent Indians trained to perform CPR: study

Less than 1% of Indians know CPR: WHF

New Delhi: Indians are far behind in the global surge to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from any CPR and First Aid institute in Delhi NCR - a combination of rescue breathing and chest compressions delivered to victims of sudden cardiac arrest.

While many countries of the world are getting trained and encouraging the gerenal people - in school, college, Factories, and even office - about chest compressions or CPR and First Aid to save sudden heart attack victims from dying, the World Heart Federation (WHF) says less than 1% Indians would know how to carry out a CPR and First Aid.

The revelation is stark since 7.5 lakh people die of sudden cardiac arrests every year in India with over 80% of these emergencies occurring outside a hospital. Sudden heart attack in private places like office, factories and residential buildings. On an average, a victim begins to suffer irreversible brain damage four minutes after the sudden heart attack takes place if no CPR and First Aid is administered.

For every minute that a sudden cardiac arrest victim does not receive CPR or First Aid, his chances of survival drops by 10%. An effective CPR from a bystander can double a victim's chances of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest.

Dr K Srinath Reddy, the new president of the World Heart Federation, said, "Less than 1% Indians would know how to carry out a CPR and First Aid on the victim of sudden cardiac arrest. What's worse, even medical students in India aren't adequately trained in the correct technique of performing CPR on the casualty. Most of them learn on the ground during internship if they have to revive a sudden cardiac arrest patient."

Even families of patients of sudden cardiac arrest in India don't know what a CPR and First Aid is and view it suspiciously when performed by doctors. Take the example of the incident that occurred in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital here on Saturday.

A team of six doctors were assaulted when they were performing cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation to save a 16-year-old girl's life. The procedure involved pressing down hard and rapidly on the chest and blowing into the patient's mouth.

Chairman of Medanta Medicity Gurgaon and cardiac surgeon Naresh Trehan said his hospital would be glad to teach common people the art of CPR. "If resident welfare associations of Delhi put together teams of 30-40 people, we can teach them CPR in a few hours," Trehan said.

"CPR is invaluable. If a person receives CPR within five minutes of collapsing, his or her chances of survival without any effect to the brain are 70%. So, it will do tremendous good if students are taught CPR," he added.

The American Heart Association's (AHA) latest advisory says that all high school students should be trained in CPR.

For every minute that a cardiac arrest victim does not receive CPR, his chances of survival drop by 10%.

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