According to the Department of Health (DOH), 170,000 Filipinos die from cardiovascular disease every year. While general healthcare plays a pivotal role in addressing this national threat, one specific area holds particular significance: pre-hospital care.
“Heart attack is a deadly disease because you don’t know when it will strike,” warned Jim Weston, a clinical specialist for Philips Healthcare, during the two-day ALS Resuscitation Workshop series. “In such situations, early and proper resuscitation is key to saving lives.”
If a heart attack is left untreated for 9 to 10 minutes, the survival rate of a patient goes down to 20 percent. After 11 minutes, this rate plummets to 0 percent. This emphasizes the need for easy-to-use technology when it comes to saving victims of heart attack.
Speaking to emergency response teams and critical care nurses from hospitals like St. Luke’s (BGC and Quezon City), PGH, Cardinal Santos, and Makati Medical Center, Weston shared best practices and American Heart Association Guidelines for emergency response to cardiac arrest and stressed the importance of immediate recognition and activation of the emergency response system, early CPR with emphasis on chest compressions and early defibrillation.
Unfortunately, the Philippines faces major obstacles in achieving this task—proper support training for emergency and health providers.
“The use of defibrillators, or the equipment we use for CPR is prevalent in the country. But the application of specific technique needs to be inculcated more,” said Malone Guevarra, the General Manager of Philips Healthcare in the Philippines
He said that the overall treatment of Filipino heart-attack patients still have plenty of room for improvement.
Guevarra added, “On one level, it is about raising awareness on how to deal with emergencies (not just for healthcare practitioners). This also includes providing support in managing and improving the patient’s condition. On another level, it is about investing in innovative technology that secures better pre-hospital care.”
Technology that is “forward thinking”
The Philips Efficia DFM100, is a defibrillator that can be used for both children and adults. It is small, lightweight and easy to transport to a patient’s side.
The DFM100 has been rolled out in several major medical institutions in the Philippines and has likewise been used in many emergency response seminars for nurses and other relevant healthcare practitioners.
Philips also has a defibrillator for increased mobility. The Philips Heart Start FR3 Defibrillator comes with Life Guidance that can be installed on public spaces for ready use.The Life Guidance feature provides instructions and audio cues that instruct the appropriate number, rate, and depth of chest compressions.
Tap the bystander
Raising awareness on proper emergency response delivery can play a significant role in saving heart-attack sufferers.
“Most people think patients only belong to the hospital. But there’s much that can be done in the pre-hospital environment. If we educate more pre-hospital emergency medical providers and improve bystander involvement, then we have a potential to improve resuscitation outcomes,” Weston remarked.
Philips Healthcare is currently tapping both public and private healthcare organizations to inform the general public on the standards and developments in emergency response procedures. Guevarra added, “We tie up and train the bodies specializing in this. By informing them, they can inform the greater public.”
“We need to be forward thinking. By educating and informing people first, saving lives won’t have to wait,” Weston closed.
Philips is dedicated to creating the future of healthcare and saving lives by collaborating with clinicians to develop solutions that are adapted to real clinical environments. For more information, log on to www.philips.com.ph or call the Philips Healthcare Hotline in the Philippines at +63 2 4226688.