AED And Life Support Procedures For Anyone

As part of my vocation as a CDO medic, prior to every ICT (in-camp-training {army}), I will have to be sent to have a medic refresher course, to keep me “current” on the most updated medical information and practise on doing some theory and practical treatments and procedures of life saving. It’s has always been a 2 days course, and unlike the previous 4 times, this year it has a different impact on me.

This year, we touch on the new life support procedures (mainly CPR) which is used on unconscious casualties without respiration (not breathing) and circulation (no pulse). About 11 years ago, I was taught something which we continued to practise for 10 years, until this year the SAF or rather the whole global scene decides to change the protocol.

This made CPR easier to do, with lesser steps, and a new element has been added into the picture – the AED or automated external defibrillator.

An automated external defibrillator or AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient, and is able to treat them through defibrillation, the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm.

– from Wikipedia.

Why does it have an impact on me? Well, it’s a long story… My father was claimed by the coroner that he had died from a cardiac arrest due to his exisiting heart condition in 2007, just one day after our Singapore wedding. That morning, I was the one who found him laying in the bathroom. First look at him, he must be there for maybe at least 10 mins, as he has lost his colour on his face, purple lips, and he was cold. Not wanting to quit at the same time, I could be wrong on the time of cardiac arrest, I fought back on my knowledge of the 4-6 mins rule of irreversible damage on the brain cells, and performed CPR (the whole procedure that I learnt from my medic course in 2000), called for ambulance.

I still remember being calm on the inside and literally did the ABC, head tilt chin lift, check for breathing and pulse. No breathing give 2 air blows into mouth, no pulse commence chest compressions etc…. I literally did CPR for at least 8-10 minutes before the paramedics arrived… It was kind of the longest morning of my life that day, and definitely the longest CPR drill I have ever done in my life and whilst doing the CPR, I was thinking of “please don’t die, please do not do this one day after the wedding…. etc”

I felt the impact today, because, whilst teaching us on the AED and why we need to prioritise AED over CPR, the instructor show us a timeline and effect comparisons… IT is statistically proven that early defibrillation, can increase by a huge percentage, the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest. So in my mind, I was thinking, should we know that someone in the family has a high risk of heart diseases, and therefore a cardiac arrest, should we buy an AED to store at home? Because, 70% of cardiac arrest happens at home. Should we have an AED back then, would he be saved?

What has passed is long gone, but I am actually thinking about the future. So should we buy an AED? Bring it around when we go out?

It is only in the recent years that we started to see AED placing in shopping malls, sport halls and various public places. And it does not seems ample, considering statistically, Singapore’s survival rate of cardiac arrest patients is only at a staggering 2%… What’s more is that heart disease is the number 2 most common condition that cause deaths in Singaporeans. I seriously think that is a worrying figure! We need to educate people on AED, life support and make sure that more members of the public knows how to save people’s life.

I strongly urge my friends and readers who are reading this, to take it seriously and consider learning how to do CPR and use an AED, it is really easy. If I can do it so can you… Touch wood, but you never will know when you need this knowledge and skill, but you cannot afford to wait for things to happen before you want to learn how to do CPR and or use an AED right?

Please take action today. You could potentially save someone’s life in the future, and what could possibly be your best reward is, it could be your friend or family member’s life you save.

Additional Info:

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Local AED And CPR Course

One thought on “AED And Life Support Procedures For Anyone”

  1. Now that I am aware of AED’s I try to look for them in every public facility I go to because you never know if and when they will help you save a life. I feel like there are a lot of people that know how to perform CPR, but AED’s are not always available so I hope that they will continue to populate in society today.

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