Press Release

CPR training soon a graduation requirement

BLSimageThe House of Representatives has just passed the so-called Samboy Lim Bill that would make mandatory CPR (or cardio pulmonary resuscitation) training in schools nationwide, at least once before graduation, with the goal of saving more lives.

House Bill No. 5891 - otherwise known as the “CPR Training in Schools Act” - was approved on Sept. 15, 2015 by the Committee on Basic Education and Culture headed by Rep. Kimi Coseteng (5th District, Pangasinan).


On hand for the approval of the CPR bill were Philippine Heart Association (PHA) president Dr. Alex Junia and PHA officers Drs. Raul Lapitan, Jorge Sison, Helen Ong-Garcia, Nannette Rey, Orlando Bugarin and Francis Lavapie) as well as Samboy’s ex-wife Atty. Darlene Berberabe, PAG-IBIG Fund president and chief executive officer. Berberabe said that she and her family have embraced the CPR for the lay as their personal advocacy.

The principal sponsor of the bill is Representative Joseller “Yeng” Guiao (1st district, Pampanga) and Rain or Shine head coach, who is said to have drawn inspiration from his colleague Avelino “Samboy” Lim who is now out of the woods after being in coma state for months after he was stricken by a sudden heart attack in Nov. 2014.

Sec. 3 and Sec. 5 of HB 5891 partly state "....the CPR instructions shall include training which has been developed by the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) or by the Philippine National Red Cross, using nationally recognized evidence-based guidelines for emergency cardiovascular care and incorporating psychomotor training to support the instruction..." ; School principals or administrators are encouraged to accept competent instructors from non-government organizations (NGOs) who are offering their services for free.

Junia said the "PHA can help the Department of Education in the creation of the CPR training modules for the students."
He added that the entire 1,600 PHA membership welcomes this auspicious development in the House. “It gives more muscle to the PHA’s mission in bringing CPR to every Filipino home,” he stressed.

"Bringing CPR to Every Filipino Home" is the title of the current flagship project of the PHA.
PHA’s Council on CPR chairperson, Lavapie said that elementary and middle school students in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore are already required to undergo basic CPR training."

“I would like to call this the Samboy Lim bill in honor of the PBA superstar who suffered from a heart attack during an exhibition game and whose fate became the impetus for the filing of the proposal,” Guiao was quoted in published reports as saying.

Guiao’s bill will make CPR training a graduation requirement for students in all private and public learning institutions. HB 5891 would oblige schools to provide their students with one or more training sessions in CPR through the use of psychomotor training in an age-appropriate manner.

“We want to make lifesavers out of the youth of today by giving them the training that will make them confident to step up when the need arises,” according Guiao.

Berberabe said at the time Samboy suffered his heart attack, no one inside the game’s venue knew how to administer proper CPR to him which is why his brain was deprived of oxygen for at least 23 minutes before he was taken to the hospital.

Had Samboy been given adequate CPR during the first three minutes he was rendered unconscious, his chances of recovery could have been much better.

PHA experts said a person who stops breathing has to be revived, if at all, within four minutes because beyond that the loss of oxygen supply to the brain leads to a comatose state.

"Some 80 percent of sudden cardiac arrests deaths occur at home and witnessed by relatives who do not know how to deliver hands-only CPR. Administering CPR on a victim increases the survival rate by 33 percent," said Bugarin,PHA Advocacy Committee chair and immediate past chair of the PHA Council on CPR.

Significantly, the survival rate of cardiac arrest is less than 1-percent WITHOUT the application of CPR. But administering CPR immediately can double or triple the chances of survival, according to PHA.

Guiao expressed optimism that the Samboy Lim Bill will be enacted before the current Congress adjourns for next year’s elections. He said that Sen. Koko Pimentel has agreed to act as the bill’s major sponsor in the Senate.

He said CPR training in schools is really nothing new. Norway has been doing it since the 1960s. In the US, more than half of the states have made the teaching of CPR obligatory prior to graduation. The UK and Canada have similar proposals. In ASEAN, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan have already started CPR training in schools and communities.

“Given that 4 out of 5 cardiac arrest events happen at home, there is a good chance a rescuer will be helping his or her loved one. Giving Filipinos the skills to intervene rather than remain passive, ignorant bystanders until the arrival of trained medical personnel can literally spell the difference between life and death.”


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