Train yourself, save a life

Train yourself, save a life

On Friday afternoon, a male passenger felled by a heart attack on Beijing's Line 2 subway died about one hour later.

That's the third heart attack death in 10 days that aroused public attention, with the other two being actor Godfrey Gao and Xu Yong, a senior journalist at Xinhua News Agency.

They are only three of the 550,000 people in China who suffer from sudden cardiac shock every year, of which only about 1 percent are saved.

Actually, many more of these victims could have been saved if Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation are popularized. When someone suffers a heart attack and falls unconscious, people nearby have a good chance of saving him with CPR.

CPR is really not so hard to learn. All one needs is to learn how to observe and decide if a person is unconscious, where to press on the patient's chest, and how to blow air through the mouth and into the lungs.

Besides that, public facilities such as airports, high-speed railway stations, and big subway stations could install the Automatic External Defibrillator, a device that proves effective and easy to use in saving the lives of people suffering heart attacks. All one needs is to pick it up and follow the instructions.

Unfortunately, neither of the two is popular in China. According to data, the total number of AEDs in China is slightly higher than 2,000, of which most are located in metropolises, such as Beijing and Shanghai. On CPR, less than 1 percent of adults can master the skill, while many have never heard of it.

Both need improvements to save those 550,000 lives every year. The cost of installing AEDs might be high, as it does take time and resources to train more people in CPR, but it is really worth the effort because every life counts and should be saved in an emergency.

It's time to train everyone and equip more public facilities to save more lives.

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