CHCSJ hopes for wider reach of rescue knowledge

The government hospital hopes that increasing community knowledge on CPR will help save more lives.

A couple of weeks ago, an older man fell unconscious in Iao Hon District due to cardiac arrest. Three passers-by administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation (more commonly known as CPR) to the patient and managed to revive him.

Dr Lei Choi Chu from the government hospital’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department, commented that hospital-induced resuscitation is the last resort, using this incident as an example.

She added that emergency CPR administration prior to patients reaching the hospital will help increase the chances of survival.

That being said, she believes that with appropriate training, anybody can administer CPR to those in need, and that knowledge of emergency first aid techniques within the community is important. 

Moreover, her colleague Dr Chang Tam Fei, said that there are number of patients in cardiac arrest each year and emphasized that timely resuscitation can increase the odds of survival by at least 58%. Therefore, the government hospital has implemented a training system for staff to improve their familiarity with resuscitation techniques.

Chang recalled that the hospital started offering internal resuscitation training more than 10 years ago, first relying on faculty from Hong Kong and later establishing its own team of trainers. Chang added that the hospital has plans to expand the eligibility for resuscitation training courses to a wider range of medical staff, including pharmacists and physical therapists.

Cases in other jurisdictions have led to civil lawsuits against well-meaning people being sued after administering resuscitation techniques. Rib fracture is a common side effect of CPR.

Commenting on the risk of potential lawsuits, Lei pointed out that the Penal Code has provisions that prohibit the failure to offer emergency assistance to a person in need. 

It was later revealed that one of the two helpers in the incident that occurred several weeks ago worked at the government hospital as a nurse in the surgical department. The other helper was an off-duty police officer.

The female nurse, Kuok Chi Kio, was among the first to be at the scene. While others were calling an ambulance, Kuok began administering CPR to the patient. Minutes later, the off-duty policeman arrived at the scene, before another nurse passed by and offered help.

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