Educating The Community About Resuscitation
Last Friday I leapt out of bed before daybreak, in anticipation of my presentation at the CEO-CMB Forum. I had 15 minutes to discuss resuscitation for children with cardiac arrest. Why is this ground-breaking? For the past five years, my team has been industriously promoting DARE, a community education programme. However that focuses on resuscitation for adult victims of cardiac arrest. We even launched an app to teach this because At The Heart of The Matter, whatever reaches the largest audience works.
That morning, my darlings expressed a keen interest in accompanying me. Initially, I thought they wanted to support their beloved mother.
Later, I discovered that M4 wanted to catch some legendary Pokémon at the hospital. Similarly, M5 hoped to score candy from my residents. Basically, neither really cared about my ground-breaking chapter in community resuscitation.
Before The CEO-CMB Forum
Since the kids were cold in the hospital, I bought them a hot cup of Milo to share. I smuggled this into the auditorium despite clear signs that food & beverages were prohibited. This must only apply to clumsy people, I thought to myself. Confidently, I handed the cup to M5 and cautioned her to be careful. She nodded and the cup promptly slipped from her little hands, decanting all over her dress. I was as embarrassed as she was sorry, and scooped her up immediately to wash her in the toilet.
With two minutes to spare before showtime, I sure was glad to see my head of department. He offered to look after the children during my talk. Truly, to have the head of the Children’s Emergency babysit one’s monkey children is a godsend. Without hesitation, I whispered to the kids warnings against mischief and left.
What I Shared About Resuscitation
Statistics About Bystander Resuscitation
I shared some background about why DARE is an important programme in resuscitation of cardiac arrest victims. In the chain of survival, early CPR & defibrillation within the first four minutes, increase survival by 20 times. Since ambulances in Singapore arrive within 8-12 minutes, the burden falls on the bystander to initiate resuscitation.
Our Campaign Video
With pride, I played the video featuring Adrian Pang, demonstrating the main messages of DARE. Here’s the three minute video: https://youtu.be/Kzillun7GZ4.
Essential Difference For Paediatric Resuscitation
While adult victims of a witnessed cardiac arrest only require chest compression, children require ventilation as well. This may require mouth-to-mouth resuscitation by bystanders. As 70% of the paediatric cardiac arrests occur at home, this means parents and caregivers should be appropriately trained.
In addition, some AEDs come with a button to press to reduce the voltage of the shock for children. Some come with smaller pads for children, and pictures to show where to place them. For adults, pads are usually placed on the left & right of the chest but for babies it may be in front and behind. Follow the simple diagrams that are on the AED as there may be variations for different models. Don’t worry! Whenever I show these pictures to pre-schoolers, they are able to follow the pictorial instructions easily. Hence adults shouldn’t be worried even if they have no prior knowledge about resuscitation.
The main implication is that our usual 45 minute DARE class may be much longer. However, we’ll do whatever is necessary. Since many caregivers have asked me about paediatric resuscitation, my team & I are willing to give this a go.
After The CEO-CMB Forum
After the forum, I gave signed copies of the children’s book I authored to the CEO & CMB in thanks for allowing me to share my work.
Reluctantly, I retrieved my kids from the world’s most qualified babysitter. Regardless, a mom’s got to do what a mom’s got to do: take charge of her own monkey children.
In fact, M4 was quite cross for missing a Pokémon raid by the children’s playground. In response, I confiscated his iPad but we went over anyway to play with something other than electronics. He soon cheered up somewhere between the slides. M5 remained in a good mood despite strongly smelling of Milo. Or perhaps it was precisely that which kept her in high spirits. We’ll never know for sure!