RECENTLY, it was reported that a teacher in Ipoh died in an ambulance response, where allegedly Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) was not performed on the victim. Cases like these bring to light the importance of CPR skills among the public.

According to the American Heart Association, the brain cells begin to die in just four minutes without sufficient oxygen. CPR must be performed immediately in order to rescue a victim.

It was also reported that Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that “all public facilities, transport must have automated external defibrillator (AED) devices by 2025”, and in another publication on the same date, added that it is “compulsory to have AED at government buildings, public facilities starting 2025”.

While we prepare to instal AED at public facilities, we also need to prepare the public with the skills to perform CPR and use the AED.

In a survey I conducted with 594 respondents in 2020, 75% said that they did not know where to learn CPR and AED skills. According to my survey, CPR literacy in Malaysia is low.

This prompted St John Ambulance of Malaysia to organise more courses for the public. At the national headquarters, for every course conducted and paid by a corporation, one free CPR and AED course is conducted for the public and community.

I hope the teacher’s unfortunate death will be a lesson to all, and encourage more Malaysians to learn this essential life-saving skill.

The news has also encouraged us to reach out to more Malaysians and spread the important knowledge so that more lives can be saved. Visit https://firstaid.sjam.org.my to register for the next available course.

Chew Hoong Ling
Corporate Training Manager
St John Ambulance of Malaysia

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