Why learn CPR
If you have family member/friends who have heart diseases, we recommend you to learn Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). In case heart attack has occurred, the patient will become unconscious and absent of breathing and pulse. If you are able to perform CPR on the patient timely and properly until the arrival of ambulance crew, he/she may regain his/her heartbeat and breathing and have a better chance of survival.
In countries like USA, Canada and Australia, there are CPR courses designed for family members of high-risk cardiac patients. Researches indicate that these CPR trainees are able to display a positive attitude towards learning CPR and master the essential techniques in applying CPR confidently.
Save life, every second counts…
To achieve effective resuscitation, the following 4 elements of the "chain of survival" must be observed by by-standers, the paramedics and the emergency physicians. CPR is one of the key issues:
- early call for ambulance service
- early CPR
- early defibrillation
- prompt conveyance to hospital for medical care
In the event when a cardiac arrest takes place at home, what you are going to do is very important to the "chain of survival". If you are able to activate the ambulance service and start CPR as soon as possible, the chance of survival can be increased substantially.
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Hong Kong Fire Services Department has launched a Community CPR training programme which is free of charge. Please call the Fire Services Ambulance Command Training School at 2640 3708 for details and specify yourself as "family member of cardiac patient".
Heart Disease is the number 2 killer in Hong Kong, among them Coronary Heart Disease is the most common cause of death.
Coronary Heart Disease
The coronary arteries supply oxygen and nutrients to the muscle of the heart. If the arteries become harden, narrow or completely obstructed, myocardial infarction may take place. Such heart attack is critical and life-threatening.
- Chest pain (heavy pressure on the chest)
- Pain may radiate to neck, lower jaw and forearm
- Sweating, shortness of breath, nausea
When the obstruction of the coronary arteries is so serious that the supply to the heart is unable to meet the demand, cardiac arrest may take place. If there is no by-stander CPR, death may ensue from subsequent deprivation of oxygen in the brain. Signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest are:
- no breathing
- no pulse
Dial "999" for emergency ambulance service immediately when you detect the warning signals of coronary heart disease or the signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest.
Prevention of Heart Diseases
Studies and researches indicate that the following risk factors are related to heart diseases:
- cigarette smoking
- high blood pressure
- high-fat and high-cholesterol diet
- lack of physical exercise
- diabetes mellitus
Recommended preventive measures are:
- quit smoking
- control high blood pressure
- avoid high-fat and high-cholesterol diet
- have regular appropriate physical exercise
- control bodyweight
- control diabetes
- lead a happy and healthy life
Information provided by Fire Services Ambulance Command Training School