CPR Important in Saving Lives says Paediatric Anaesthetist

Paediatric Anaesthetist and Intensivist, Dr. Lambert Innis says the Heart Foundation of Jamaica’s (HFJ) focus on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is important, as it could save the lives of Jamaicans, whose risk factors for heart conditions, are very high.

“The reason we are making such a big thing about CPR is the fact that in Jamaica, the lifestyle of our population is such that the risk of having a heart attack or cardiac arrest is very high,” he stated.

He was speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank to highlight CPR Week which was observed from October 26-31.

Dr. Innis who is also a CPR Instructor at HFJ informed that the HFJ has been promoting various screening tests to encourage persons to be aware of their health numbers.

The CPR Instructor said that the tests promoted by the Heart Foundation are very relevant and include electrocardiogram (ECG), blood pressure, and cholesterol and blood glucose levels.

“It is going to change the lives of many of us and it is against that background that CPR and learning CPR, is vital because our population is at risk of having heart attacks and cardiac arrest,” argued.

“If it does happen and the person close to them at that moment knows CPR, they can save the life of that individual,” he added.

The critical care specialist said knowing CPR was particularly important during the COVID -19 pandemic when children are at home because the risk of accidents at home is particularly high.

“Some caregivers are stressed out, so accidents will occur and we need to ensure that we know what to do. All the steps that we teach in resuscitation are now even more important, because one step is very concerning during the pandemic and that is giving rescue breaths,” he warned.

CPR guidelines from the American Heart Association indicate that in administering CPR, particularly to adults, chest compression-only CPR, should be used.              

Dr. Innis said that recognising that a person is in cardiac arrest is crucial, because chest compression should begin immediately, adding that the caregiver should also call for help.