Students from Xingtai No 8 High School, Hebei, learn how to perform CPR. XINHUA
If you see someone collapse, perhaps as a result of a heart attack, what can you do while you wait for an ambulance?
Chen Wenqiaochu set a good example when he was 14. He performed CPR on a cleaner at his school, saving the man’s life in 2013.
Chen showed that knowing how to perform CPR can be beneficial. According to medical experts, there is a “golden period”, the first four minutes of a heart attack, when CPR is most effective in saving the person’s life.
On Aug 24, a joint guideline was issued by the Ministry of Education and Red Cross Society of China. It asks all public schools nationwide to provide first-aid courses, including CPR training, as part of health education.
CPR is not hard to grasp. All that one needs to learn is how to observe and decide if a person is unconscious, where to press on the patient’s chest, and how to blow air through the mouth and into the lungs.
Unfortunately, less than 1 percent of Chinese adults have mastered the skill of CPR, while many have never heard of it.
A 2019 survey from the Development Research Center (DRC) of the State Council noted that although 64.6 percent of schools have opened health education courses, the teaching results are not satisfactory, according to China Youth Daily.
Zhao Shengyu, 18, a graduate from a Shandong high school, recalled her first time to be taught CPR in the class. “No model, video or practice was included. I realized the acts I had been taught orally had lots of errors after I was trained another time in a medical school,” she said. Based on her own experience, Zhao said more qualified first-aid courses in schools are necessary.
Ding Banghan, a doctor from Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine, is a strong supporter for bringing first-aid knowledge into the classroom. “The first-aid course in schools is key for its popularization,” said Ding, according to Guangzhou Daily.
Many countries have attached importance to the popularization of first-aid training, including CPR.
In 1966, the American Heart Association stipulated that US police officers, firefighters, secondary school teachers and college instructors must receive CPR training. And a 2017 survey showed that 65 percent of Americans had received CPR training.
In Switzerland, all citizens are asked to be trained in first aid, including CPR. In Germany, every citizen must be trained before getting their driver’s license (驾照), which means about 80 percent of the country has received first-aid training. Forty percent of people in France are also trained in first aid, according to CGTN.