Inclusion of CPR training in basic education sought

Jess Diaz - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker proposed yesterday the inclusion of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training in the physical education curriculum of private and public secondary schools.

“We need CPR knowhow, especially during this season when more Filipinos are succumbing to heart attack,” Laguna Rep. Sol Aragones said.

Citing a study by the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP), Aragones said medical emergencies and admissions triple during the Christmas holidays.

These usually involve heart attacks, strokes and diabetes as a consequence of excessive eating and drinking, Aragones said.

Based on the PCP study, the number of medical emergencies in Metro Manila between January and November ranged from 30 to 50 cases a month.

“The numbers in December showed a significant rise in cases: 153 in 2004, 163 in 2005, 172 in 2006, 170 in 2007 and 170 in 2008,” Aragones said.

“Half of these emergency cases resulted in death. Who knows how many lives could have been saved if immediate medical treatment in the form of CPR was administered. CPR saves lives, which is why everyone should be required to learn it,” she said.

She noted that Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial supports her advocacy.

Aragones quoted Ubial as saying that all Filipinos, not only health workers, should learn how to do CPR.

Filipinos who have yet to learn CPR have an alternative.

Medgate Philippines chief executive officer Robert Parker said the telemedicine pioneer provides a step-by-step guide on performing CPR through mobile phone or landline.

“Of course, nothing beats learning CPR in a class but when emergencies strike, teleconsultation through smartphone app is the closest thing you can get to getting an instant tutorial,” Parker said.

Teleconsultation is one of the advantages offered by telemedicine – the use of electronic communications to transmit and exchange medical information and data to treat patients.

Medgate is the leading international provider of telemedicine, with operations in Australia, Middle East, Switzerland and the Philippines.

“The best treatment is to nip these problems in the bud,” Medgate Philippines medical director Arlene Claudio said.

“If something doesn’t feel right, you should see a doctor right away and ask if it’s something serious. That’s something we always advise our clients; if you feel off, call at once so you know if you have a real emergency on your hands,” Claudio added.                

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