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Ruijin Hospital teaches CPR

BILINGUAL training for internationally recognized cardiopulmonary resuscitation kicked off yesterday at Ruijin Hospital, the first in the city authorized by the American Heart Association to offer CPR training and issue its certificate.

There are two types of training: advanced cardio life support for people with medical backgrounds and basic life support for those with no medical training.

Local emergency medical experts said the city should promote professional CPR training in hospitals to improve the first aid capability of staff and basic training to increase public awareness about the importance of early intervention in an emergency.

"Even in developed countries like the United States, only 6 percent of cardiac arrest cases are saved if they take place outside a hospital," said Dr Lu Yiming, director of Ruijin's emergency department and director of the Shanghai Emergency Medical Association. "That percentage is lower than 1 on China's mainland. Here, many people just call 120 when there's an emergency and wait for the experts, missing the golden three to five-minute period in which first aid is crucial."

Since emergency treatment is only taught out of a book in Chinese medical schools, experts called on all non-emergency doctors to receive advanced, hands-on training.

Members of the public, especially those working as policemen, firefighters, hotel staff and teachers were also called on to receive basic CPR training to improve survival rates in the event of cardiovascular emergencies, cardiac arrest and stroke.

The advanced course takes two and a half days and costs 1,500 yuan (US$219), while basic training takes four hours and costs 450 yuan. Trainees can get teaching materials from the AHA and an AHA bilingual certificate after passing an examination.

People who are interested in the training can call Ruijin's emergency department (6437-0045), which will arrange training sessions once a month.

Tori Widdowson, from Britain, was one of 24 people who participated in yesterday's course.

"I will work as a swimming teacher for children in Vietnam next month as part of a charity program and the organizer said a CPR certificate is a must for the job," Widdowson said. "It is a very popular qualification in my home country and I think young people should learn these skills, which can be useful for their entire life."


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