A city hospital has launched an initiative to empower the public to help and resuscitate a victim of sudden cardiac arrest in a bid to reduce the number of patients who die owing to lack of awareness. The Holy Family Hospital, Bandra, Thursday launched ‘iCARE’, an initiative whereby the hospital will train the public in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as well as make automated external defibrillators (AED) available at several locations in Bandra.
“We have taken up Bandra area as a pilot project having divided the area into 10 zones. Each zone will have five AEDs stationed at various public places,” said Dr Brian Pinto, senior cardiologist who is instrumental in starting the project. Depending on the response to it, he said, the initiative would be spread across the city.
According to the National Intervention Council, around 3 million people suffer heart attacks annually in India and of these around 1-1.2 million suffer sudden cardiac arrest. Pinto said cardiovascular diseases were the number one cause of death globally.
“In most cases of sudden cardiac arrests, most bystanders don’t know what to do and how to react leading to waste of critical time. Through iCARE, we intend to reduce the number of deaths due to sudden cardiac arrests by creating awareness among the general public,” said Pinto.
The hospital will train security personnel, police officers, teachers, college students, municipal officers and technicians among others to detect a cardiac arrest and perform a CPR. The hospital will also bring in a system (contact number and mobile application) to call for medical assistance in the meantime.
According to Dr Yash Lokhandwala, who is also a brain behind the initiative, Bandra records around 1,000 sudden deaths. He said most sudden cardiac arrests occured due to parched and shrunken arteries. Making an AED available to the public would empower the public to react immediately, said Lokhandwala.
Dr Armida Fernandez, the medical director of Holy Family Hospital, said iCARE — Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation for Everyone — was a philanthropic initiative of the hospital and training would begin within two weeks.
BJP MLA Ashish Shelar and chairman of Indian Express Viveck Goenka along with his wife Zita Goenka and managing director of Signet Chemicals Harish Shah attended the launch.