There have been several reports in the local newspapers in the past week, documenting several deaths. One was the death of a 23 year old young man who had cardio-respiratory failure. There was another report of a Malaysian woman choking to death on a biscuit. And who can forget the horrific accident that wiped out four members of a Catholic family, leaving only their 2 month old daughter?
There could have been more ways to help the casualties. For example, if CPR was administered to the young man before the ambulance crew arrived, he might have survived. In the case of the lady, they managed to fish out the debris from the mouth, but the article did not mention if the airway was totally cleared or if artificial ventilation was provided.
Unfortunately, accidents and emergencies occur everyday. What is our response to these? Let’s say one day you are walking along the street, when a man collapses in front of you? What will you do? Some will help, some will not. Some want to help, but are incapable. Some are able to, but do not want to. For most of us it’s not our problem, until one day it hits home. By then it will be too late to regret the loss of our loved ones.
I read another article which is quite heartening (pun intended), there is a First Aid Corps being set up in Marine Parade GRC. The three volunteers are trained in the use of the Automatic External Defibrillator. Some Community Development Councils also conduct CPR courses for residents. I think Mum went for one of those a few months back. I think these are good steps for making people more prepared for emergencies. We should all take some time off to learn some simple first aid, CPR if possible. If we are more prepared, we won’t panic so much when disaster strikes.
By some coincidence, a few days ago we had lessons and tests on CPR, Choking and AED. That means we are trained to assist in such emergencies. I hope my fellow medics and I will have the courage to help in such incidents when we are outside. And we hope like hell that none of us will screw up the rescue! It is clear that there are two requirements in such a situation: Competence and Courage. We must possess the necessary skills to help out, in order to prevent further harm to the patient. We must also have the daring, to help without any hesitation.
But let us not forget about spiritual matters. Death is so untimely and unpredictable. Let us prepare our souls for its arrival.
May the Holy Angels preserve us!