According to a recent study, heart patients residing in lower floors of high-rise buildings had a higher chance of surviving sudden cardiac arrests as opposed to those who live on higher floors. The reason being, the time it takes for a first responder arriving at the building to reach the patient having a cardiac arrest increases when the patient lives on a higher floor. In addition to this there exists an overall lack of awareness about the importance of Hands-only CPR 10 as a life-saving technique that can help revive a sudden cardiac arrest patient of their death.
The study that was conducted on a sample of 5,998 patients found that on an average, it took responders about 6 minutes from the time of receiving the SOS phone to arrive at the building. But it took them an average of 3 minutes between arriving at the building and first contact with the patient for those lived on the first or second floor, compared to an average of almost 5 minutes for those who lived on or above the third floor. 4.2% of those who lived below the third floor of their buildings survived cardiac arrests as opposed to only 2.6% of those who stayed on higher floors. Thus medically, it is suggested that living on the higher floors of high-rise building can be fatal for heart patients.
Keeping this in mind, the leading National NGO Heart Care Foundation of India recommends that doctors must ensure that each and every family member and those in regular contact with the heart patient must be trained in the easy to learn and perform technique of Hands Only CPR. In addition to this, they must discourage them from residing on higher floors in society buildings. All societies must also have Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) readily available in the lobby, on certain floors or the elevators.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal Honorary Secretary General IMA & President HCFI said, “It is the responsibility of all doctors to inform heart patients and their patients about the dangers of living on higher floors of high-rise buildings. For those who do, it is essential that each and every family member and building staff is trained in the life-saving technique of hands only CPR which can be performed by anyone and can help revive patients who have suffered a sudden cardiac arrest of their death. Societies must also ensure that an AED is available. Around 240,000 people die every year due to heart attacks and we believe about 50% of them can be saved if 20% of the population learns hands only CPR. What people need to remember is two things, one CPR must not be practiced on a person who is breathing, has a pulse rate and is clinically alive. It must be administered of someone’s death and continued till the ambulance arrives or the person is revived.”
The HCFI Hands- Only CPR 10 mantra is: of death (earlier the better), for a minimum of 10 minutes (adults 25 minutes and children 35 minutes), compress the center of the chest of the deceased person continuously and effectively with a speed of 10×10 = 100 per minute.
Continuous compression only CPR compresses the heart between the sternum and the back bone and builds up the pressure that keeps the oxygenated blood flowing to the brain and keeps the person alive until a defibrillator becomes available or expert medical help arrives. Therefore, if you see someone collapse from sudden cardiac arrest, acting promptly can save his or her life. It is important to act quickly for every minute lost reduces the chances of revival by 10%. So, if you wait 5 minutes, the chances of surviving are 50% less. The earlier you give CPR to a person in cardiac arrest, the greater the chance of a successful resuscitation. To know more or to organize a training camp in your locality, please call the NGO’s helpline number 9958771177.