Only about 12 per cent of Hong Kong’s population would know how to revive a person who collapsed in front of them from a heart attack.
The number of people who have received some training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation compares to 52 per cent in Australia and is below the ideal level, according to the St John Ambulance Association.
Professor Yu Cheuk-man, head of Prince of Wales Hospital’s Division of Cardiology, says the first three minutes after the heart stops beating is the critical period. Most people who die of sudden death fail to get medical support in this window.
Says Yu: “If resuscitation and electrical shock are administered to the patient in a timely manner, there’s a 70 per cent survival rate. The survival rate drops by 10 per cent for every minute that passes.”
The government website lists a few organisations that provide first aid certificate courses recognised by the government: Hong Kong St John Ambulance,
Hong Kong Red Cross, Occupational Safety & Health Council and The Auxiliary Medical Services.
The Fire Services Department offers a training course of cardiopulmonary resuscitation for family members and friends of cardiac patients free of charge.
For more information, call the Fire Services Ambulance Command Training School at 2640 3708.
For people who are certified, remember that you need to take a refresher course every two to three years.