Philippine Heart Association Continues CPR-ReadyPH Campaign; Ormoc City Achieves First

By EDD K. USMAN,

  • Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current Affairs​

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PHA CPR-ReadyPH Campaign to save lives.
All images from PHA via screenshot by SDN — Science and Digital News.

(SDN) — With the pandemic still not about to end in sight, the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) is stepping up its CPR-Ready Philippines Campaign.

Apparently, the main objective of the drive is to make more and more Filipinos, at least one person in a household nationwide, ready to apply CPR when an emergency emerges. As the PHA emphasized, the goal is “to put CPR in every Filipino home.”

The PHA made this clear during the latest PHA Usapang Puso sa Puso 11 titled “CPR-Ready Ka Na Ba Pilipinas”?

Well, at least one local government unit (LGU) is ready. That’s Ormoc City headed by Mayor Richard Gomez in Eastern Visayas. The city is the first feel-good story of the CPR drive as revealed during the event held online on July 30, 2021. Hard work and determination of Ormoc City leadership, its citizens, partners, and stakeholders made it the premier LGU in the campaign.

PHA CPR-ReadyPH Campaign to save lives.

Speakers in the event were Dr. Ronald Law, director, Health Emergency Management Bureau, Department of Health (DOH), and Dr. Francis Lavapie, past chair, PHA Council on CPR; panelists were Dr. Don Robespierre Reyes, chair, PHA Council on CPR, and Dr. Rhodette Arevalo, president, PHA Eastern Visayas; hosts/moderators — Dr. Luigi Pierre Segundo, co-chair, PHA, and Dr. Richard Henry Tiongco II, PHA Communications Committee.

PHA CPR-ReadyPH Campaign to save lives.

“CPR” is the acronym for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, “an emergency procedure combining chest compressions often with ventilation in an effort to manually preserve brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person who is in cardiac arrest.” (Wikipedia)

The American Heart Association (AHA) says CPR “is an emergency lifesaving procedure performed when the heart stops beating. Immediate CPR can double or triple chances of survival after cardiac arrest.”

Coronavirus sidetracks PHA’s CPR-ready drive

In an email to reporters and bloggers the country’s heart group noted the Covid-19 surges and the “attack of the Delta variant” that originated in India, “the threat of cardiac arrest events doubles up.” It added that the coronavirus pandemic (which first broke out in Wuhan City, China, in December 2019) had sidetracked the campaign which then was being intensified.

Now, the PHA wants to at least get it back on track. But help is needed.

“Together, let us fast-track or at least be on track,” the PHA said in the email. “The heart is the main source of our life. We should take care of it.”

PHA CPR-ReadyPH Campaign to save lives.

Warning on instance of cardiac arrest

“The cardiovascular menace is on the prowl 24/7. Stress can trigger a heart attack and sudden cardiac death (SCD). Under any circumstances, cardiac arrest or SCD can happen to anyone, any time, anywhere.”

It can be recalled the PHA established in 2015 the lifesaving initiative officially called “Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)-ReadyPH Campaign”. To implement the drive the PHA led the formation of the CPR-ReadyPH Alliance that counted as stalwart members the PHA, Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Red Cross (PRC), American Heart Association (AHA), Philippine College of Emergency Medicine (PCEM), and Department of Education (DepEd) in 2016, a highlight of launch of the yearly Nationwide Mass CPR Training.

Dr. Arevalo, who said “Ormoc City is CPR-ready already”, walked the online forum on how the city achieved its being CPR-Ready City.

Essentially, she emphasized the vital importance of working together and collectively which she said included mass CPR training in 2015, tapping barangay (village) officials, partnerships with various organizations, including schools.

“We train councilors, about 500, then we did mass training, then PHA came to train on hands-only CPR.

“So, mass CPR training started. We tied up with DOT (Department of Tourism), private hospitals to train lay people, also (we worked) closely with Ormoc City Medical Society. And we called on the LGU because they are one to assemble the people,” Dr. Arevalo narrated.

She added the partnership also extended to the Philippine National Police, Rotary Clubs.

She added that it is also crucial that every active member of the city’s active medical rescue team have all their members certified (as CPR-ready).
Dr. Law of the DOH spoke of the campaign to proclaim July 17 of every year as National CPR Day, saying it is vital that institutions are integrated in the initiative.

With the campaign a continuing effort, the DOH official laid down some of the department’s accomplishments, or efforts, towards achieving the main goal of a CPR-Ready Philippines.

PHA CPR-ReadyPH Campaign to save lives.

These are, he said, Policy (a document was started for the proclamation of July 17 of every as National CPR Day; Plans, which pertains to many activities leading to the CPR-readiness of the country; Peso and Logistics, the advocacy on the CPR is being funded, CPR mannequins are being distributed; Program, packaging of a Basic Life Support (BLS) e-course and has been integrated in the DOH Academy Platform; Promotion, distribution of social media cards about CPR, as well as a Pledge of Commitment being recited in big events; and, Partnership, DOH cannot do it alone so working together with other sectors is vital, including PHA, PRC, AHA, DepEd, and PCEM.

“We can now feel that we are nearing our goal making the Philippines CPR-Ready,” said Dr. Law.

Dr. Reyes acknowledged the pandemic protocols’ impact on the training for CPR, saying training sets are being done online, although it is important to have a physical presence in the other stages of the training.
Due to the difficulties of a hands-on training, he said it is better to have the online training than not have anything.
A formal training, Dr. Reyes pointed out, would require a lecture, examination, then face-to-face meeting, which he called a “blended training.”
But because of the quarantine protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), it can’t be done with many number of participants. If it can be done at all, he seemed to suggest.
Formal training, with lecture, if want certified, go through legitimate training on CPR and

In relation with this, the PHA and the Department of Tourism (DOT) have a partnership called CPR on Wheels & Wings started in 2016. The CWW has already journeyed and reached out to more than 25 major destinations across the country. CWW’s goals include making every tourist haven/community, barangay and city/town become CPR-Ready.

The PHA cited what could be achieved if each CPR-trained person teaches four or five of his/her family members, which translates to 21 million CPR-Ready Filipinos of the Philippines 109 million population. (SDN)

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