A recent Newspaper report from Gujarat highlighted the increasing incidence of heart-attack-related deaths in India. 1,052 persons died due to heart-related conditions in the past 6 months. Most of the victims are in the 11-25 age group. Sudden injuries of the chest sustained in sports such as Cricket (“Commotio Cordis”) are lethal if not managed immediately with on-the-spot Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) by any nearby bystander.
As announced by the State education minister, the decision to provide CPR training to nearly two lakhs of schoolteachers and college professors is commendable as it might save thousands of lives annually that would otherwise could be lost with no emergency intervention.
According to Chicago-based Indo-US Resuscitation Training Expert Dr. Vemuri S Murthy, the simple technique of hands-only (compressions-only) CPR is easy to learn. Many organizations, such as the American Heart Association and American Red Cross, have in-person training programs in addition to CPR promotional videos. CPR training is mandatory for high schools in most of the states in USA currently.
Dr. Murthy, an Honorary Advisor to the Government of Odisha (Health and Family Welfare), recommends that all the State Governments in India initiate statewide Community, Police, and High-school CPR programs to “Save Lives” in Sudden Cardiac Arrests due to any cause. Odisha was the first state in India to implement statewide CPR programs among Odisha communities. The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha, Mr. Naveen Patnaik, officially launched the governmental “Saving Lives with Bystander CPR Training” project on February 1,2023 at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar. The project’s key players include service-oriented Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations, Odisha, and Sri Jagannatha Service Foundation. The ongoing community programs have trained so far, a few thousands of community members and students, including 1000 police personnel. Dr. Murthy hopes to see all the states in India initiate community CPR training programs in the near future with support from their respective state governments and non-governmental organizations.
Dr. Murthy, who has been actively involved with community CPR programs in the USA and India for about two decades, stresses the critical need to train the public in “AEDs”(Automated External Defibrillators) also along with hands-only CPR to save many more lives than with Hands-only CPR alone before the arrival of EMS (Emergency Medical Services). He recommends public access to AEDs in places such as health clubs, shopping malls, train and bus stations, and at all community, religious, and sports events.
Dr. Murthy, an Associate Professor (Adjunct) in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, is establishing a state-of-the-art Community CPR Training Center with multi-organizational support at the National India Hub in Schaumburg, Illinois. In addition to training communities, the center will initiate “Training the Trainers in CPR” program in High Schools and plan evidence-based research in Resuscitation Medicine involving Medical Students and Residents at the Hub.
Hands-only CPR and early Access to AED (Automated External Defibrillator) can save many lives in Sudden Cardiac arrests