Society Young volunteers working in tandem with the GVK EMRI-108 team urge the public to practise basic first aid techniques on the spot

A youngster lies motionless on the floor, seemingly unconscious. A couple of people arrive quickly at the scene, check his pulse, then check his airways for breathing. One of them goes closer to the victim and gently asks him “Are you alright?” This is meant to check whether he is conscious.

On not getting a response, they perform chest compressions and move onto cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques to try and get him back to consciousness. The youngster is then slowly turned over to one side and lifted onto a collapsible stretcher as soon as the ambulance arrives.

Personnel of the GVK EMRI-108 Ambulance Service and ‘Friends of 108 Club’, a team of volunteers from the SNS College of Engineering jointly demonstrated basic first aid practices to be followed in case of an emergency. It was at the Royal Sheraton Apartments in Nanjundapuram Road on Saturday.

The main objective of this demo, which will cover other popular housing colonies in the coming months, is to break down the phobia people have about performing basic first aid and get them actively involved in practising these techniques in times of emergency. “We have seen many instances, especially in the case of road accidents where crowds gather idly around a victim, doing precious little till an ambulance arrives. During this time, having knowledge of basic first aid techniques can easily save a few lives,” said H. Mohan, Regional Director (Western Region), GVK EMRI-108 Ambulance Services. Mohan explained what should be done while handling a cardiac arrest patient.

“A person who has suffered a cardiac arrest should ideally be made to rest in the same place till a stretcher is brought to take him to the ambulance. Walking even a few steps in that condition will increase the pressure on the chest and could prove fatal,” he said.

For the residents, around 50 of whom showed up and clarified their doubts, the demonstration turned out to be quite an eye opener.

“I used to be reluctant to offer first aid to accident victims as I was not sure about the right techniques. But this demonstration has cleared a lot of misconceptions I had about basic first aid. Now I know at precisely what point in the chest I need to do a compression,” said Pradeep Palat, a resident.

Residents have requested for a one-day certified workshop on Basic Life Support techniques, noting the significance of knowing first aid techniques and the difference it can make to their lives and others.