With data showing that more Filipinos succumb to heart attacks and strokes, a lawmaker reiterated the need to include cardiopulmonary resuscitation training in the physical education curriculum of both private and public secondary schools. “According to the Philippine College of Physicians, hospital records reveal that medical emergencies and admissions triple during the holidays, and these usually involve heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes as a consequence of the excessive eating and drinking commonplace during the holidays,” said Laguna 3rd District Rep. Sol Aragones , who is the author of House Bill 1858, or the CPR Instruction Act of 2016.
The PCP, citing a survey of hospitals in the National Capital Region conducted from 2004 to 2008, showed that from January to November, the monthly average of medical emergencies and admissions was between 30 and 50 cases. The numbers in December, show a dramatic rise in cases: 153 in 2004, 163 in 2005, 172 in 2006, 170 in 2007, and 170 in 2008.
The same sentiments are shared by Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial, who has supported the passage of legislation that would make CPR training mandatory for graduation.
Ubial had required CPR training in work evaluations for employees in Davao health regional offices under then Davao Mayor and now President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
Filipinos who have yet to learn CPR, however, have an alternative. Medgate Philippines Chief Executive Officer Robert Parker said that the telemedicine pioneer provides a step-by-step guide on performing CPR via mobile phone or landline.
“Of course, nothing beats learning it in a comprehensive class, but when emergencies strike, teleconsultation via our smartphone app is the closest thing you can get to getting an instant tutorial,” Parker explained.
Teleconsultation is one of the advantages offered by telemedicine––the use of electronic communications to transmit and exchange medical information and data to treat patients. Parker’s company, Medgate Philippines, is the leading international provider of telemedicine, with operations in Switzerland, the Middle East, Australia, and the Philippines.
Medgate Philippines Medical Director Dr. Arlene Claudio stressed, however, that the best treatment “is to nip these problems in the bud.”
“If something doesn’t feel right, you should report your symptoms right away and ask a doctor if it’s something serious. That’s something we always advise all our clients; if you feel off, call at once so you know if you have a real emergency on your hands.”