After dad’s health scare, NTU undergrad attends life-saving course
The thought of losing her father to cardiac arrest made her realise the importance of having first-aid skills.
Miss Carissa Lim, 22, told The New Paper her father had suffered a heart attack last year, and doctors had told him he could have had a cardiac arrest.
A heart attack happens when blood flow to the heart is blocked, while cardiac arrest is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating.
Realising that no one at home knew how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), Miss Lim attended a life-saving workshop yesterday, organised by a group of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) communication students.
Titled Heart To Heart, the campaign seeks to raise awareness of CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator machine, specifically among women. Their survey of 270 undergraduates showed only 52 per cent of women were trained in CPR, compared with 92 per cent of men .
Team member Kimberly Seah, 23, said that men here have more opportunities to learn life-saving skills, through national service and being part of uniform groups in school.
Given that only around one-fifth of the 2,400 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims in Singapore every year survive, Miss Seah said more can be done to increase the survival rate.
"While many men are already trained, female responders can strengthen Singapore's life-saving community," she added.
The team aims to reach all female students in NTU through events conducted on campus, including a #BPMConcert, where live bands play music in speeds of 100 to 120 beats a minute - the ideal compression rate when conducting CPR.
The team also set up a CPR self-learning kiosk in NTU, courtesy of the Singapore Heart Foundation, and will be holding a roadshow at NTU's North Spine on March 9.
Red Cross instructors at yesterday's workshop allayed fears about CPR, assuring the 50 participants that breaking a victim's ribs is common during the procedure and that mouth-to-mouth resuscitation would be up to the rescuer's discretion.
Instructor Christopher Siva Chance, 25, said: "This is something everyone should be familiar with, even small actions can contribute to saving a life."
Details on Heart To Heart's events and guides can be found on its Instagram @hearttoheart.sg, and visit redcross.sg to register for first-aid training.