Odisha State Launches “Lifesaver CPR” Program To Enhance Outcomes In Sudden Cardiac Arrests

History was remade in Odisha State, India, on August 1, 2023, when the Honorable Governor Professor Ganeshi Lal inaugurated the Second Mass Community Bystander Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training event at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology Convention Center in Bhubaneswar.

The statewide life-saving project was the vision of the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Mr. Naveen Patnaik, who inaugurated the project in February 2023 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. The program is guided by the Indo-US Resuscitation Expert from Chicago, Dr. Vemuri S Murthy, Honorary Advisor (CPR), Government of Odisha (Health & Family Welfare) and Adjunct Faculty, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

About 1100 participants, mostly students from Kalinga Institute, were trained in Hands-only CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in 8 hours of intense training by Indian Resuscitation Trainers, led by Dr. Maheswar Parvat, Coordinator of Gandhi Alumni American Heart Association Training Center, Hyderabad, Telangana, helped by the volunteers of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations, Odisha and AIIMS (Bhubaneswar).

Dr. Vemuri Murthy, in an exclusive post-training event interview, outlined the importance of preventive strategies to combat the number one global killer viz, Heart Disease, more prevalent among South Asians, including Indians and the Indian diaspora. He stressed the need to raise community awareness about preventive strategies such as a healthy diet with less fats and carbohydrates, exercise, control of diabetes and high blood pressure, weight reduction, and reducing stress with holistic approaches such as Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation.

In his team meeting with the Honorable President of India, Mrs. Draupadi Murmu, led by Mr. Krishna Kishore Jasthi at the Odisha Raj Bhavan (Bhubaneswar) on July 27, 2023, Dr. Murthy highlighted the importance of Community CPR programs to improve survivals in Sudden Cardiac Arrests. The Honorable President extended her full support to the CPR programs. She also pointed out the high prevalence of Tuberculosis among Odisha Tribals and the importance of Tuberculosis eradication programs.

Dr. Vemuri S Murthy, an Indo-US resuscitation expert, faculty member at the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, has been appointed by the Government of Odisha as the State “Advisor on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation” Projects. He is the first ever to be appointed by the Odisha State Government as the Health Advisor from the United States and will be involved with comprehensive Resuscitation- involved State projects.

Heart disease is a major 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.

Dr. Murthy hopes the Life Saver Initiative of the Odisha State will also be implemented soon in the rest of the States in India.

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