Dubai: Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with American Heart Association (AHA) to launch a CPR training programme to make the city one of the safest in the world in terms of response time to cardiac arrests. This is aimed at saving lives of people who undergo a sudden caridiac issue out of the hospital and require immeidate first aid to be revived.
Presently, the global average survival rate of patients who suffer from out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests is between 5 to 10 per cent. Every minute, following a heart attack, is crucial and medical help needs to reach the patient ideally within four minutes. This project aims to increase the survival rate in case of sudden cardiac arrests in Dubai and aims to break the global benchmark and achieve a 65 per cent survival rate. As part of the programme, more than 23,000 volunteers have been trained in administering life-saving CPR and about 10,000 heart defibrillators have been launched across many public places in the city.
The DHA, in conjunction with the AHA, has already launched the preparation and construction of the training programme that will have three phases. The first will be training several people in providing on-the spot CPR when they come across anyone having a cardiac arrest in a public place like a shopping mall, bus stop etc. The second phase will launch several external defibrillators at various public places that can be accessed and people will be trained to deliver a defibrillator electric current to revive a patient before the ambulance arrives. The third phase will involve the launch of a smart app that people can download and it will display the closest CPR-trainied professional and the nearest defibrillator so that a person in need can get immediate help and be revived with first aid before the arrival of an ambulance.
How will the programme work?
The project will use smart technology and an app that residents will be able downloaded easily. If a person is having a sudden cardiac arrest he or his family members can activate the emergency button on the app. Automatically, first responders, ambulance officials and nearby hospitals will get a notification so that help reaches the person in less than four minutes.
A strategic initiative
Dr Fahad Baslaib, consultant interventional cardiologist and CEO of Rashid Hospital, and Zehra Al Hilali, Middle East and North Africa (Mena) regional director, American Heart Association, signed the MoU at the DHA headquarters in Dubai. Dr Mohammad Al Redha, Director of Project Management Office, Health Informatics and Smart Health at DHA, Dr Wadeia Sharief, Director of the Department of Medical Education and Research at the DHA, Michael Hulley, international vice-president, American Heart Association, attended the signing ceremony.
Following the MoU, Dr Baslaib said that Dubai Heart Safest City project is one of the important strategic initiatives aimed at protecting the general health of individuals from one of the most serious health problems — cardiac arrest. He stated that the DHA was implementing the project based on three main factors, the first of which on training the largest number of volunteers possible on how to administer CPR.
3,800 AED devices already provided
The second focuses on providing automated external defibrillators (AED) across different areas of the city. A defibrillator delivers a dose of electric current to the heart and buys the patient survival time. Dr Al Redha said the initiative aimed to provide 10,000 AED devices across Dubai and that the DHA, in partnership with a number of government entities, has provided 3,800 devices so far.
Trained CPR person and defibrillator
The third phase will include the launch of a smart application that will show where the nearest CPR-trained (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) professional is and also the nearest defibrillator.
Dr Baslaib pointed out that there is a specialised committee running the initiative, which includes representatives of the various government departments in Dubai, especially departments that include volunteers.
Dr Al Redha also added that the DHA, in collaboration with a number of organizations has trained 23,000 volunteers on CPR so far. He said that as part of the MoU, the American Heart Association prepared a one-of-a-kind training programme to support the Dubai Heart Safest City project. Volunteers who will complete the training programme will receive a certificate approved by the Association.
Committed to saving lives
Commenting on the MoU, Michael Hulley, International Vice President, American Heart Association said: “Over a decade ago, the American Heart Association began a concerted effort to address cardiovascular disease around the world, offering technical support, science exchange and training to governments, healthcare providers, hospitals and pre-hospital systems, workplaces and communities. This new programme is the culmination of years of collaboration. It represents all the people whose lives have been or will be saved and made better through the work the American Heart Association does with our partners in Dubai.”
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Zehra Al Hilali, Mena regional director, American Heart Association, said: “Our mission drives everything we do. From heart disease, to stroke, to cardiac arrest. All are problems that the American Heart Association is determined to resolve. In Dubai alone, our affiliated training network trained around 23,000 people in CPR last year, in addition to many community campaigns and outreach. Excellent cardiac care should be the standard for everyone. By working together, we can create more scalable, lasting and impactful solutions, she said.