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28 October 2019Lab Chat
The Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS) has announced it will be giving out 80 life-saving contraptions to political institutions, private organisations, places of worship and other public locations by the end of the year. The declaration was made on World Heart Day at the Indian Consulate, where the first defibrillator was gifted to the Consul General.
Capable of automatically notifying the authorities and instructing the user in 15 different languages, the automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) involved in the scheme are highly sophisticated pieces of equipment. It’s hoped that by distributing them across the city, DCAS can improve its response times and help save more lives affected by unexpected cardiac arrests.
The initiative is part of a wider scheme named “My City Saves Me”, which aims to create a sizable pool of volunteers equipped with the tools and the knowledge necessary to provide life-saving assistance to those in need. Once trained, the volunteers are tracked via the GPS on their phones to determine who is closest to a potential cardiac incident.
They can then be contacted via an app named “Help Me” and, thanks to the prevalence of the AEDs and the expertise they have accrued through their training, provide assistance prior to the arrival of the ambulance. In this way, DCAS hope to cut their response times from the international standard of eight minutes to just four – a goal they say they’re already achieving in almost half of all calls they receive.
The Lifepak CR2 – the defibrillator being employed by the DCAS in this scheme – is one of the latest models and comes with a range of impressive capabilities. Remotely linked to the central control room of DCAS, it can send an automatic alert about any incident that arises, including the specific location, as well as an electrocardiogram and heart rate reading of the patient.
What’s more, if the device becomes aware of an abnormal or concerning heartbeat in the patient, it can advise the volunteer that use of the defibrillator is necessary. Both voice and text instructions – available in 15 different languages – can then be given to the volunteer to direct their efforts, while an electrical shock can even be delivered remotely, without any input from the volunteer other than manoeuvring the AED into place.
The Consul General of the Indian Consulate was certainly grateful of the gift and, given that the Consulate receives as many as 400 visitors per day, says it could prove invaluable. “That is a fantastic use of technology for saving lives,” he said. “Certainly in emergency situations this will help.”
Meanwhile, other exciting developments in the world of cardiac complications have seen scientists rebuild part of the human heart at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA. The team utilised collagen as the material and a 3D printer as the medium to create tissue that replicates the appearance, feel and function of a beating human heart.Download PDF
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