A group of Bangaloreans wants to make the city the Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation capital of India, finds Arati Rao.
Franklin Joseph, who conducts Krav Maga Bangalore classes in Richmond Town, offered a different perspective. He usually delivers a five minute talk on how to deal with bullet wounds and shrapnel gashes, and also attempts to include a session by a doctor every two-three months. “Today, the war isn’t happening on the borders. If a car bomb goes off at a mall and your family’s injured, what do you do?” he asked. All of it may be rather grim talk for a city in which a pint is considered more a measure of beer than of blood, but, as Chatterjee said, “Everyone must know what to do in an emergency.”
[KravMagaBangalore.in] [Post] There are many sobriquets our fair city has earned itself over the years – Bean Town, Garden City, Pub Capital and Silicon City. A rather strange one may soon join the list, going by a meeting of determined committee members of Nightingales Lifesaving Services on a Saturday evening. The group resolutely switched off the first match of the Indian Premier League between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians to thrash out marketing strategies which would make Bangalore the Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation capital of India.
BV Murali Mohan, the project’s co-ordinator, and a pulmonologist and physician at Narayana Hrudayalaya, said, “It takes six minutes for the brain to die once the heart stops in the event of a cardiac arrest. Administering CPR helps to restart the heart, pump blood and keep the brain alive till emergency medical services get there, which would definitely take longer than six minutes in Bangalore.”
Mohan cited the case of New Zealand tailender Ewan Chatfield to illustrate how an accident could happen to anyone, not just the elderly. In a match against England in 1974-75, Chatfield was seriously injured by a short delivery by Peter Lever. It took quick action in the form of a heart massage and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation by England’s physiotherapist Bernard Thomas to save his life. “One of our main challenges is to convince youngsters that they need to know CPR, because it could save someone’s life,” Mohan explained.
Another proponent of the importance of Basic Life Support courses is Somnath Chatterjee, a consultant at the intensive care unit at Manipal Hospital. “An emergency is what it is,” he stated firmly. “It could happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere.” Like at NLS, the BLS programme at Manipal Hospital (which includes CPR training) is carried out for corporates and groups comprising about 20-30 people, say from a particular housing colony. The classes are a mix of theory and practicals on mannequins, at the end of which a certificate is given to students who can confidently carry out the procedure.
Aysha H, a project engineer with the Quality, Safety and Technology department at Sobha Developers, attended the Manipal Hospital session in August 2008. “There are lots of accidents at construction sites,” she said. “We felt just auditing safety shouldn’t be our job, we should know how to have control over situations.”
R Jayachandran, a physical fitness instructor at Fitness First, joined the NLS programme in April this year, out of curiosity. He said, “There are so many accidents that happen in Indira Nagar and the outskirts. This way, I can at least try to save someone’s life.”
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