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It is believed that by 2030, India alone will account for 60 percent of the world’s cardiac patients, nearly four times its share of the world’s population. The major reason for these alarming statistics is lack of awareness towards- ‘healthy’ lifestyle and the lack of knowledge of few simple steps that can be taken during emergency or before reaching the hospital.

Out of the people who die from heart attack, about 50 percent die within an hour of their initial symptoms before they reach the hospital. The chances of survival of the victim can increase significantly if he is provided Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately. Hence, people present at the scene can help avert the risk of death by proving CPR promptly to the victim.

Providing BLS and CPR during the golden hour can help in preventing pre hospital deaths from injuries as well as heart attack if there is a delay in receiving hospital treatment or medical care. Mostly, the steps we take in haste while attending to an emergency, makes a deep-rooted impact in saving the life of the patient. Thus, it is vital for all to learn the BLS and CPR techniques, so that we can take the right measures when required.

These are simple steps like early recognition and initiating chest compression in cardiac arrest or protecting cervical spine with c-collar in road traffic accident victims and for this you don’t need to be an expert in medicine to take these lifesaving steps. Therefore, CPR and BLS should be made mandatory in secondary level of education and to all public service job holders as the chances of survival of the victim increase double fold if appropriate emergency medical care is provided immediately.

Time is the essence while treating a heart attack and cardiac arrest victims. “When the heart stops beating, blood flow to the body organs ceases. Of all the organs, brain is affected first. People become unconscious within 15 -20 seconds after the heart stops and chances of brain recovery decreases with time so much so that irreversible brain damage is common if circulation is not restored within 5 minutes of cardiac arrest. The need of the hour is to train common people to do CPR and BLS before the victim reaches the hospital. This training will help them to learn special skills required to deal with heart related emergencies. Skills to perform CPR through chest compressions, maintaining victims breathing by providing appropriate rescue breaths, can greatly improve the chances of survival of these unfortunate people.

You too can save a life. And for this you don’t need a medical degree.

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