Over the weekend of 23rd and 24th September 2017, we had a successful community CPR training session for the members of SCWO (Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations). It was organised by AWDS (Association of Women Doctors Singapore) with great support from Dare (Dispatcher Assisted First Responder) who conducted the training and Philips healthcare who sponsored the event.
Ischemic heart disease is one of the leading chronic diseases. It can lead to a cardiac arrest which mostly occurs in the community. Cardiac arrest can also occur if there are any electrical disturbances of the heart, which may have been present since birth but was undetected. Such may be the case when we hear stories of young fit adults who suddenly collapse during exercise. For optimal survival, all cardiac arrests must be attended to immediately. If nothing is done while awaiting an ambulance, brain death can occur. And once in the hospital, even if the patient survives, they may have bad outcomes due to the effects of oxygen deprivation on the brain. Hence, the chain of GOOD survival starts in the community. Despite advances in technology in managing cardiac arrests in the hospital, the survival rate in Singapore is low as compared to other countries such as Japan and the Scandinavian countries remains low. The reason may have been the lack of focus on a very important link in the chain of survival- which is the community aspect. In the Scandinavian countries, people were taught CPR and
AED in primary school in the 1940s… CPR & AED is now a way of their lives. We are only starting to do so now.
Research has shown:
This simply means that to optimise survival in a cardiac arrest, help needs to arrive early… which refers to bystander CPR. Everyone plays a part- you can help even if unable to perform CPR. It can be in the form of calling the ambulance, finding the AED or even using the AED. The community is a crucial element in the chain of survival. The community needs to be aware and able to help!!
Hence the creation of Dare a few years ago. It is a branch of the Unit for Pre-hospital Emergency Care (UPEC), under MOH initiative.
Dare stands for Dispatcher Assisted First Responder. Dispatcher is the person who is sent to you when you call for help. The first responder is the person who arrives first at the scene. He or she is required to provide help to the casualty. When one calls 995 in Singapore, a dispatcher will be giving instructions over the phone on how to perform CPR.
The Dare program aims to teach laypeople how to follow the dispatcher’s instructions and perform CPR and use the AED. It is conducted over an hour and aimed to create awareness and allow people to be comfortable in performing CPR. It is not about obtaining a certificate or qualification… it is about spreading the message and being ready to help!
There are only 3 steps to remember
Over the weekend, AWDS reached out to the various women organisations under the SCWO and trained over 100 ladies and their family members. It was a fun, engaging and educational session!! We had ladies of all age groups… and some brought their partners as well as children along.
Anyone can save a life… if we DARE to help!!!! There is no age limit to our trainee group.
A big thank you to Philips and Dare Team for making this event possible !