Helping bystanders save lives

(From left) Yeo, Noraini and MPK Health Department director Azmi Muji with the AED kiosk.

THE St John Ambulance (SJAM) Foundation Selangor Coastal Area has contributed an automated external defibrillator (AED) to Klang Municipal Council (MPK), to allow for potentially lifesaving rapid response to medical emergencies.

Foundation chief operating officer Datuk Yeo Kim Thong said they have installed AED kiosks in malls, office buildings, sports fields, government office lobbies among other public places in the Klang Valley, in partnership with the local authorities, malls and schools.

He said each voice-assisted kiosk had complete instructions for bystanders on how to use the AED.

He added that SJAM had installed one at the lobby of MPK’s headquarters in Jalan Perbandaran, in view of the large number of people walking in to settle their bills, apply for licences and to get approval for building plans.

Yeo said the foundation had installed one AED each at Centro Mall, Jalan Batu Tiga and MPK, and three at Hin Hua High School in Persiaran Raja Muda Musa.

“We plan to equip more areas including schools and government departments.

“We hope businessmen would come forward to contribute AEDs in shopping areas,” Yeo said, adding that each kiosk cost RM8,000 to RM12,000.

A foundation member demonstrating CPR on a dummy.A foundation member demonstrating CPR on a dummy.

MPK president Noraini Roslan said the city council was grateful to the foundation for contributing the AEDs.

“We will place the AED at the lobby for better visibility, create awareness and for ease of access by the public in the event of a cardiac emergency,” she said.

Yeo said the defibrillators would allow bystanders to assist someone in suspected sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

“It takes ambulances an average of 15 minutes to reach patients in town area emergencies, and in this time, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by a bystander is very important.

“The additional use of an AED can significantly improve a person’s chances of survival,” he added.

Yeo said the AED was easy to use even for someone with no training, as the device was voice-automated and gave instructions.

“It is a portable device that can analyse the heart’s rhythm and if necessary, deliver an electrical shock or defibrillation to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm,” he said.

“Minutes count when reviving someone in SCA, as each minute’s delay in resuscitation causes the survival chances to fall,” said Yeo who has been with SJAM since 1978.

He said it was important to keep in mind the crucial “chain of survival” link.

“It starts with a 999 call. Carry out CPR, the second link, before defibrillation with an AED,” Yeo added.

Noraini added that MPK had trained 40 employees in CPR and would continue to send more staff for training.

At the handover of the AED kiosk, MPK staff who had been trained in CPR showed their life-saving skills.

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