Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sudden death in the gym - adequate CPR support?

The recent fatal collapse of an NUS lecturer in the Prince George's Park Residences gym raised a number of concerns for me.

First of all is, whether there are adequate support for cardiopulmonary resuscitation to be done?

Although it was reported that CPR was started but was unsuccessful, I really question if proper CPR was at all possible. I can't imagine that there would be trained gym instructors at a hostel gym. Furthermore I really doubt if proper CPR equipment was available; don't even mention a defibrillator!

Which was a tragic shame....because in a young man with cardiac arrest, CPR/defibrillation could be life saving.

Which raised in my mind, a second question - how many gyms in Singapore are properly equipped for CPR? At the gym in the club I frequent, I discretely asked the instructor if there was any CPR equipment available. He stammered a bit and insisted there was. When I asked where, he stammered a bit more and said he didn't know.... perhaps it was out of order and sent for repairs. Then he said it was in the store room. Who had the key? That question really got him. I didn't want to embarass him further so I left it there. Bottom line was that even if there were CPR equipment it was not accessible in any way should an hapless auntie collapse from coronary insufficiency.

Then I thought a bit more..... what about at our parks? When I was at the East Coast Park the other weekend, I couldn't help marvelling at the thousands of weekend warriors who flock there every Sunday. If someone collapses, how does one do CPR? Does anyone know if there is a defibrillator anywhere? Why can't the park have well signposted CPR stations at regular intervals?


I wonder who is responsbile for ensuring there is adequate support for public cardiopulmonary resuscitation in Singapore? Or is everyone wishing someone else would do it?


Vrinda said...

Great article - you are absolutely right. CPR training and quick access to a defibrillator can mean more lives saved! Every minute that CPR isn’t given during an sudden cardiac arrest attack reduces a person’s survival rate by 7-10%. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) should be installed everywhere - schools, gyms, airports, stores, public places. You can read more about the importance of AEDs here

gigamole said...