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A person practices CPR compressions on a mannequin. (AFP Photo/Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)

 

 

SINGAPORE: Singapore General Hospital will conduct the world’s first trial in combining cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with electric shock here.

The trial aims to improve the survival rates of heart attack patients.

Twenty-three-year-old Samantha Yong suffered a heart attack last year.

But thanks to her husband’s quick action, she recovered with no side effects.

“I think alot of people should know how to administer CPR and how to use the AED because as a first responder, it’s so helpful,” said Ms Yong.

However, she is one of the few lucky ones.

Doctors Channel NewsAsia spoke to said only one in 50 survive heart attacks here.

They attribute it to a number of reasons. Firstly, there is a lack of mandated emergency medical training in Singapore.

Only 20 per cent of Singaporeans are trained in administering CPR, compared to about 40 to 50 per cent of people overseas.

There is also a lack of public awareness about what to do when a heart attack happens which leads to slower reaction times.

“The key to improving survival is actually to be able to do good CPR as well as give early and effective defibrillation, which is electric therapy to the heart,” said Dr Marcus Ong Eng Hock, senior consultant, Department of Emergency Medicine, SGH.

Presently at hospital A&E departments, electric shocks are given only after manual CPR is performed.

So to improve survival rates, Dr Ong and his team will administer electric shocks during a patient’s CPR upstroke phase.

The team is encouraged by other results of studies done on animals.

“In animal studies, we found that by synchronising defibrillations and compressions, we are able to increase the likelihood of success by 20 per cent. So that is what we are hoping to test in this research,” said Dr Ong.

The study involving 140 patients starts in April.

CNA/cc

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