According to the Department of Health, diseases of the heart and of the vascular system are one of the top killers among Filipinos. A study of the same government body in 2009 showed that 170,000 die every year because of cardio vascular diseases.
The scope of this category is wide and can include chronic heart and non-communicable diseases but according to the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) one significant contribution to this category is sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). And, unlike other heart diseases, it can strike without warning even to the healthiest of people who have no known heart disease history.
Such was the emphasis at a news conference organized by Zoll Medical Corporation, an American medical products and software solutions company new devices—specifically automated external defibrillators (AEDs)—were shown to medical practitioners and media. Zoll is responsible for bringing this technology to the Philippines.
Tim McGough NRP—a former professor at the Northeastern University Institute for Emergency Medical Services in Boston, Massachusetts and currently an adjunct faculty at the Clinical Training Center of Boston Me¬dical Center, Boston, Massachusetts—conducted a brief talk and video presentation that showed how SCAs can happen to just about anyone, even to strong and healthy athletes.
According to McGough, SCAs victims can survive the onslaught if they immediately receive quality cardiac pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or, in laymen’s terms, “the act of repetitive chest compressions.”
A specialist in the area of resuscitation science and resuscitation training for hospital, EMS, and clinical audiences, McGough shared key points in attaining higher survival rate for SCA victims mainly the amount of time CPR is given from the time of its occurrence and the depth and rate of CPR given.
According to McGough, SCA victims must receive quality CPR immediately as chances of survival decrease by 10 percent in every passing minute. As if to support this statement, PHA posted on its website philheart.org, that “CPR must begin within four to six minutes and advanced life support measures must begin within eight minutes to avoid brain death.”
McGough’s talk also discussed that CPR must at least achieve 2 to 2.4 inches depth to benefit the victim. He further emphasized the importance of proper CPR training, even to lay people or non-medical professionals, as SCA can occur anytime and anywhere.
Thanks to the advancement of medical technology, quality CPR is more achievable nowadays. Zoll provides a comprehensive set of technologies that help clinicians, EMS and fire professionals, and even lay rescuers treat victims needing resuscitation and acute critical care. CPR Dashboard is one of their prime products that help CPR performers monitor if they are giving proper depth and proper rate, among other factors. The company also sells a line of AEDs that even households can own.
In the Philippines, Zoll has products distributed to hospitals and medically advance ambulances. The company has also partnered with several LGUs, particularly the City of Manila, to provide CPR awareness.
Ultimately, Zoll aims to increase SCA survival rate with their products. As it is, the company’s statistics showed that the survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest is less than one percent worldwide and on average less than severn precent in the medically-advanced United States.
In the Philippines, Zoll is carried by Health Solutions, a subsidiary of TAO Corp.