Heart disease is the number one Global Public Health problem. People of Indian Origin are at a four-times greater risk of heart disease than their Western counterparts and have a greater chance of having a heart attack before 50 years of age. Almost one in three in this group may die from heart disease before 65 years of age. In India, heart disease remains the number one cause of death. Nearly 36% of deaths in India are due to heart disease, and 80% of them are preventable. More than 4200 sudden cardiac arrests occur per every one lakh of the population in India annually with a survival rate of less than 10%. Immediate on-the-spot Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) by a bystander and early use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) can save millions of lives across the world.
With the objective of creating awareness and providing training, especially to the First Responders, Hon’ble Chief Minister Mr. Naveen Patnaik in collaboration with Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization, Odisha, Sri Jagannatha Service Foundation (President, Abhinav Krishna Jasthi), American Heart Association and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Bhubaneswar) inaugurated a statewide project of Mass Hands-Only CPR training program with AED demonstration at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, India on February 2, 2023.
During his address, Mr. Patnaik applauded the role played by the various organizations involved with the initiative of saving precious lives. Mr. Krishna Kishore Jasthi, Principal Director of Income Tax (Investigation), Odisha, who is the chief coordinator of the project, welcomed the participants, and explained the objectives of the ground-breaking project, “Saving Lives with Bystander CPR” in Odisha.
The project was initiated by Dr. Vemuri S Murthy, an Indo-US resuscitation expert and an Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Vemuri S Murthy spoke on the importance of community CPR training and thanked the Hon’ble Chief minister for his vision and support for the statewide lifesaver project. He gave a live demonstration of Hands-only CPR and AED on a manikin for the Hon’ble Chief minister with an Indo-US AHA volunteer team of Dr. Maheshwar Parvat and Mr. Dennis McCauley.
The 9-hours long program trained nearly 2,400 participants, including 1,000 police personnel, 600 women students from R D Women’s College and Sri Sathya Sai College for Women and participants from other organizations. The plan is to train 200,000 people in the state of Odisha by the end of 2025 with a potential to save thousands of lives in Odisha. The participants received Community Bystander informational pamphlets in Oriya and “Healthy Heart” informational flyers from the American Heart Association with participation certificates.
The participants were given a brief presentation of “Heart Disease Among Women” as part of the program by Dr. Pavitra Kotini-Shah, Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Indo-US Faculty team was honored at the conclusion of the program.
The well-organized Mass CPR program involving hundreds of volunteers was commended by the participants. Ongoing Odisha stateside programs will be planned soon, the organizers announced here.
“Efforts to raise awareness of heart disease and promoting “Healthy Heart” lifestyles is essential,” Dr. Murthy said. “Given the fact that South Asians tend to have more heart problems, it is presumed that the incidence of Sudden Cardiac Arrests might be higher in them compared to the general population in the United States. Immediate Bystander CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) with early use of an AED can double or triple the chances of their survival. Needless to say, a concerted effort is needed to achieve the goals by all involved stakeholders, Governmental and non-Governmental, with individual participation.”