Kolkata, West Bengal: The Cardiological Society of India (CSI), the largest organization of Indian Cardiologists with over 5000 members, in association with Skills Academic Training and Simulation (SATS), a critical care society accredited by American Heart Association today announced the launch of an initiative on the occasion of World Heart Day to increase awareness towards the imminent danger of Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) and teach basic principles of Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
A total of one crore Indians will be targeted through a digital campaign and physical kiosks in educational institutions, shopping malls, housing societies, police stations, post offices etc. as well as virtual web-based modules. Over the next three months, CSI will be imparting ‘Hands on CPR Training’ to 10,000 people from four metro cities – Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi.
This initiative will be supported by Sun Pharma, the No. 1 pharmaceutical company in India. For the past two years, Sun Pharma has been running a campaign under the banner, ‘Making India Heartstrong’ to build awareness among patients on cardiovascular risk factors.
Disease burden in India
The annual incidence of Sudden Cardiac Death is around 53 cases per one lakh population, and roughly accounts for 5.6 percent of total deaths in India. The fact that economically productive younger people are predominantly victims of SCD is also a matter of grave concern.
The main reason for SCD is an underlying myocardial infarction or heart attack. In people suffering from heart attack, SCD accounts for 50 percent of deaths in the hospitalized period and in the subsequent follow-up period. Half of these deaths tend to occur in the immediate month following the heart attack, and the remainder within a year of the initial heart attack.
A number of factors predict that there will be an explosion in the number of people in our country succumbing to SCD in the near future. The chief reason being the rising incidence of coronary artery disease even in the younger population.
To counter this growing threat, the immediate focus in our country should be identifying and treating people with risk factors for heart attacks, wider reach of lay people trained in CPR techniques to attend to patients quickly, timely medical treatment of heart attack patients, and ensuring that proven life-saving drugs are prescribed and used correctly. These are the very reasons that post-heart attack death and SCD have shown a remarkable decline in developed countries.
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