Keep the Heart Beating!


When someone stops breathing, or the heart stops beating, he or she typically can survive for only 4 to 6 minutes before lack of oxygen can result in brain damage or death. CPR can buy extra time for your loved one, by artificially circulating oxygen to the brain until professional help can arrive.

Over 70% of all cardiac and breathing emergencies occur in the home when a family member is present and available to help a victim.


CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) saves lives.


Statistics show that sooner CPR is initiated, the greater are the chances of survival. In fact, the American Heart Association estimates that 100,000 to 200,000 lives of adults and children could be saved each year if CPR were performed early enough.


Approximately 45% of all heart attacks occur in people under age 65. One in six men and one in eight women age 45 and over have had a heart attack or stroke, according to the American Heart Association. 30 % of all heart attacks die before ever reaching a hospital.


Accidental injuries, including choking and drowning, are the leading cause of death in children


CPR is not just for heart attacks, some common causes of “sudden death” that may require CPR include:

  • Electric Shock
  • Drowning
  • Severe Allergic Reactions
  • Choking
  • Drug Overdose
  • Suffocation


Confidence stems from knowledge.  With bystander CPR, the act of performing chest compressions is one that with some simple demonstrations and practice in a comfortable training environment can be replicated at the spur of the moment with great efficiency.  For such a crucial, life saving act, it seems criminal that it isn’t taught in schools and colleges to every child possible.  Adults benefit too from learning to perform bystander CPR.


It is not complicated, or difficult, or going to end up getting people sued – what it DOES do, is save lives!


A large majority of all sudden cardiac arrests happen at home and often nobody knows how to administer CPR. If no bystander CPR is provided, chances of survival are reduced 7 to 10 percent with each minute of delay.

Disseminating CPR training in the population is therefore crucial in saving more lives.


However, such training cannot be performed on living human beings, as it will cause unnecessary pain and discomfort. Also carrying out chest compression on a healthy person may damage their heart.


Hence to give adequate practice to all layperson being taught CPR, there is an obvious need for robust manikins that simulate life like human body parts, including anatomically realistic airways and chest walls that have the same feel and response of a human body.


Practising on such medically approved manikins allows the student to learn the simple steps of CPR adequately and the learning is permanent, so that if faced with the situation of an unconscious victim, the layperson trained in CPR on a manikin can expertly provide life saving resuscitation till professional help arrives.


This article was written by Dr. Kushilab Bose, Capt. Surgeon (Retd.) Indian Navy, and currently CMO at Healthspring Community Medical Centre.