By Chi Kee
Ministry Staff

Since young, I’ve been a TVB (Hong Kong TV) drama serial fan. There would always be scenes of bystanders or doctors performing CPR on unconscious people on the street or in the mall. And because they did the CPR immediately, the casualties were kept alive. I was therefore intrigued and keen to learn CPR. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll become a hero?!

However, after attending a first aid awareness programme by St John Ambulance Malaysia (SJAM) with nine other colleagues on August 1, I now know saving lives is not easy (neither is achieving heroic fame). 

Golden Time to Stay Alive

The golden time to save one life from the unconscious state is about 6 minutes, according to our trainer, Ms Indra. If we don’t apply CPR immediately when the person’s heart stops beating, he/she is very likely to suffer brain death as no blood will flow to the brain. Honestly, most people would be scared to death (no pun intended) when facing a person who has collapsed because the responsibility of that person’s life is too heavy to bear. To help us stay calm and remember what to do, the St John trainer team gave us an acronym to remember – DRSABCD (yeah, it’s rather long, so we have to memorise this, otherwise in our panic, we’ll forget).

D – DANGER. Check for danger. Ensure the environment is safe for you and the patient.

R – RESPONSE. Check the person’s responsiveness.

S – SHOUT. Shout for help (must be clear and direct), e.g. “Call 999, ask the ambulance to bring AED to come over and get back to me!”

A – AIRWAY. Open the person’s mouth and check for foreign material.

B – BREATHING. If the person has no more breathing, prepare to do CPR.

C – COMPRESSION. Give the patient 30 chest compressions. Repeat until help arrives.


Stay Calm to Save One Life

During the course, we did not only learn CPR; different kinds of topics were covered, such as Loss of Consciousness, Respiratory Problems and Shock. Aside from the actual techniques, the fundamental skill I learned was to stay calm in a critical situation. Follow the steps calmly and pray desperately to God for help. We also must be thick-skinned to shout for help from the bystanders.  

In conclusion, I’d like to encourage more people to learn first aid skills, especially CPR+AED. After learning the CPR techniques, I found it is not easy to give quality compressions continuously to the unconscious person. I had to take turns with another trainee to give good compressions to revive that victim. Oh, I learned too that giving compression requires a rhythm and the song “Stayin’ Alive” has the perfect tempo. So, it pays to know the song by heart to perform the compression so that the unconscious person can stay alive.

Get Involved

👀 Spot the first aid kits on the church premises to be prepared when someone asks for it.

🩸 Learn the basic principles of first aid by attending the Awareness of First Aid – Learn First Aid course or inviting SJAM to train others at the company/organisation you work for.