Summer has begun! Many parents have arranged to take kids for an outing or signed them up for activities. Water activities are also popular among the public to cool down from the blazing sun. However, a bit of carelessness may result in accidents. The Department of Public Health, Taoyuan City Government, investigated a total of 72 drowning and emergency rescue incidents which took place between 2014 and 2016. Among these cases, 20 incidents took place during the summer vacation (July and August), accounting for 30% of such accidents. Therefore, to encourage the public to learn CPR+AED operations, the Department of Public Health invited students and citizens, as well as medical school students from Tufts University who are visiting Taiwan for the summer, to take part in basic first aid techniques training by performing the techniques in the first instance help save lives at crucial moments.
The Department of Public Health pointed out that in situations where someone faints, shows a loss of pulse or consciousness, or stops breathing and exhibits no heart beat due to drowning, CPR should be performed as soon as possible. If CPR can be performed within 1 minute, the success rate of first aid treatment can reach 90%. Therefore, taking full advantage of this key moment to perform CPR is crucial. In other situations, when an individual experiences difficulty of breathing due to foreign body airway obstruction, the Heimlich maneuver can be employed to remove the foreign object. In the case where the victim falls unconscious or stops breathing and loses heartbeat, CPR should be performed immediately until the emergency responders take over, in order to maximize the chance of survival.
At times, people are unwilling to take action when seeing someone faint or fall unconscious because they either feel that they are not adequately trained in first aid techniques or fear of possible legal consequences if something goes wrong. The Department of Public Health stated that according to Article 14-2 of the Emergency Medical Services Act, the indemnification clause for Civil Code and Criminal Code is applicable to people who use emergency rescue equipment or perform first aid measures to save others from life-threatening situation. Therefore, learning first aid CPR+AED measures and performing them without any hesitation until the emergency responders arrive can serve as a “chain of life” between the public and medical responders, to boost the chance of survival. It is not only first aid, but also a form of emergency relief.
To enhance the public’s skills in first aid measures, in addition to administering the CPR curriculum to students in high schools and vocational schools by the Department of Education, the Department of Public Health and District Health Centers also encourage community residents to enroll in CPR+AED training programs. Between 2014 and 2016, a total of 1745 sessions were held, training a total of 223,171 participants. Furthermore, to enhance access to learning, all fire departments and brigades of the City offer “CPR Training Station” service starting at 7 PM every Monday to provide instructions on CPR and AED to participants. Individuals who are interested in learning first aid or emergency rescue equipment operation can contact health centers or local fire brigades. By performing basic first aid measures, it is possible for everyone to help save lives.