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World Heart Day - 98% Indians not trained in basic lifesaving technique of CPR

98% of the country's population is not trained in basic lifesaving technique of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

Even as cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in India have become the leading cause of deaths, 98% of the country s population is not trained in basic life-saving technique of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), which is the most crucial and basic procedure to save a life in the event of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest, shows a survey conducted by Lybrate, India s first and largest online doctor consultation platform. India has over 30 million heart patients, and about 1.7 million Indian hearts, as per the World Health Organization, stop beating every year. It is estimated that by 2020, India will be one of the countries globally to be facing a grave threat relating to CVDs. In India, Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a major cause of death due to CVD, and shockingly 60% of the people who suffer an SCA succumb to it even before they reach hospital. The pan India survey shows that less than 2% of the 100,000 surveyed agreed to be knowing the technique, while only 0.1% said they have ever performed it on someone in case of an emergency. Notwithstanding the fact that people in metropolitan and Tier 1 cities are more proactive about their health, the knowledge of CPR is dismal even among them, with 95% of the people claiming to have no knowledge about administration of the procedure. CPR is performed in emergency conditions when heart stops beating. Administering it in the event of someone becoming unresponsive, including when a person suffers an SCA, in the initial 5-6 minutes helps revive the heart and saves the brain from a permanent damage.

Countries like the United States, Europe, Japan and Singapore have mandated Hands-only CPR in their school curriculum, but in India such a policy step still seems far away. Indians are predisposed to heart conditions and even though cardiac-related conditions are taking a huge toll on human lives in the country, it is very sad that people are not aware about CPR or are trained to perform it. Unlike people in the US and other countries, we are lacking in our understanding about the procedure and its importance in saving a life during an emergency. The survey is a wake up call and demands urgent attention for training people in the simple life-saving technique and take it more seriously on a policy level in healthcare, said Saurabh Arora, Founder & CEO, Lybrate.On the back of the startling outcome of the survey, Lybrate has launched an online and on-ground Save a Life CPR Campaign , with which it aims to spread awareness about CPR and its administration. Lybrate has reached out to Corporate houses, Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and schools to maximize its effort to create awareness about CPR among Indians. The company has come up with a 7-minute self-explanatory video on Sudden Cardiac Arrest and CPR with a top cardiologist in the country, which it will use to spread awareness online and for reaching out to people in Corporate houses. (Read: 6 heart-healthy diet tips for people with heart disease)

We are committed to improving the overall scenario of health in the country. The campaign is very important given the low awareness about Sudden Cardiac Arrest, CPR and its administration among the Indian population. Knowing this basic life-saving technique empowers a person to save a life. We will go the whole hog to increase awareness about CPR with our campaign, said Saurabh. The growing menace of diabetes, rise in sedentary lifestyle and less physical activity are adding to the burden of heart diseases in the country, leading to increase in fatalities due to SCA. Young people and premenopausal women are also falling prey to heart conditions now, as opposed to some decades back when heart-related issues were majorly prevalent in people aged above 60. We witness a lot of deaths due to Sudden Cardiac Arrest. The 5-6 minutes are very crucial after a person suffers an SCA. A number of patients do not get professional help during this time and die before they reach hospital. Administering Hands Only CPR within the first 5-6 minutes post a person succumbing to an SCA can save the life of about 50% of the patients. Chances of survival reduce by 7-10 percent with every passing minute. In 90% of the cases, people suffer an SCA outside hospital. It is thus extremely important that Indian population are trained in CPR to give a chance of survival to their loved ones and even otherwise to people at large, said Dr Vanita Arora, Cardiac Electrophysiologist and Interventional Cardiologist with Max Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi, and a doctor on Lybrate.Here is a detailed information on risk factors of heart disease.

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