Muhammad Luqman Abdul Rahman is only 17 years old, but he has already helped to save many lives, and you and your children can too.
Luqman is part of the nationwide MyResponder network, where those who are able to help during heart emergencies can sign up via a mobile app, and receive notifications when someone requires assistance. Luqman was a Secondary 3 student when he first saved a life, and he remembers the experience as being “nerve wracking.” He said his parents had reservations about his participation as well, but he allayed their fears by letting them tag along when he responded to an alert.
Here’s how you and your family can be everyday heroes too: Attend a “Heart Safe” workshop together to learn how to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). These are the two skills you will need to respond during a cardiac emergency.
Every Second Counts
When someone’s heart malfunctions, brain damage is an immediate threat. If a victim receives aid immediately, his or her chances of survival could be as high as 90%. At the six-minute mark, the victim’s survival rate dips to 40%. If help is rendered after nine minutes, the chance of survival is a dismal 10%.
The National Resuscitation Council estimates that in Singapore, 8,000 people will develop a heart attack every year, and of these, up to 1,800 are likely to collapse away from a hospital—the survival rate for such individuals is only 3.4%.
Nominated Member of Parliament Kuik Shiao-Yin posted a message on Facebook earlier this year, to urge more Singaporeans to learn CPR:
If someone you love goes into cardiac arrest, his best hope is that there are people [around] who know how to immediately dive into action and give CPR… many people die from cardiac arrest simply because nobody around them knew what to do beyond calling someone for help.
Learn CPR Together
Singapore Heart Foundation trainer Toh Boon Cheong says that children as young as 13 can attend the four-hour “Heart Safe” workshop that he conducts. Although information about administering CPR is available online, nothing beats a simulated experience to walk you through the demands of an emergency scene.
The workshop begins with a brief theory session followed by hands-on training, and participants will be tested—those who attain a grade of 80% and above on the written test and demonstrate practical competency in CPR and AED usage will receive a certificate issued by the Singapore Heart Foundation, which is valid for two years from the date of training.
Everyone Can Help
With the certificate, you can sign up to be part of MyResponder. To do so, you will need to download the mobile app and provide your personal details. Thereafter, you will receive notifications when someone in your vicinity requires CPR or AED assistance, and you can choose whether to respond.
All Singaporeans who feel they can pitch in are encouraged to sign up.
“Our class was quite uncertain about our skills even after we passed our assessment,” NMP Kuik revealed in her post, written soon after she attended the “Heart Safe” workshop. “But our trainer encouraged us that even if we felt… scared to attempt CPR on a real person for fear of making things worse, we should just step in and do it, because our imperfect attempt is pretty much the only chance that person has.”