By Emmanuel Acha
No fewer than 24 medical doctors in the South-East have been trained on basic life support and pediatrics advance life support skills by the Nigerian Surgical, Obstetrics, Anesthetic and Pediatrics Group.
Dr Akitoye Olumide, Consultant Anesthetist from the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, and a member of the group, disclosed this on Friday in Enugu in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Olumide said that the three-day training became necessary following high incidences of cardiac arrests which had occasioned the loss of lives across the country.
He said that the programme which was organised by the group with support from Smiletrain International would equip the participants with the knowledge to resuscitate victims.
Olumide, who is also an instructor, said that the programme would increase the skills of health professionals in the management of emergencies, especially, cardiac arrests in adults and infants.
“There is no joy doing a beautiful surgery and having a dead patient because you may be in the theatre operating and your patient will suddenly get a cardiac arrest,” he said.
The instructor said that the training would improve the knowledge of surgeons, pediatricians and obstetricians in the management of cardiac arrests and other emergencies in the pediatrics age group.
“Incidences of cardiac arrests are on the increase in adults because our lifestyles are fast approaching that of the Western countries but with low awareness,” he said.
Olumide attributed the increase in cardiac arrest to lifestyles, including consumption of some types of foods that deposit cholesterol in the vessels carrying blood to the heart.
The consultant mentioned the symptoms of cardiac arrest to include but not limited to chest pain towards the left and chest pain radiating to the shoulder.
“When some people notice this pain, especially, chest pain radiating to the shoulder, all they do is to take pain relief instead of going to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment,’ he said.
He said that it was sad that most Nigerians had abandoned their local delicacies in preference to fast foods and others.
“These are the things that cause cardiac arrest over time. As our lifestyle is going Western, we should also engage in exercise so as to burn the fats,” he said.
Olumide said that the training was being replicated in all six regions of the country where a total of 144 medical professionals would be trained.
“We will later extend the awareness to other health workers, including nurses. They will then step the awareness down to non-medical practitioners in our communities.
“The plan is to ensure that every household in the country has the knowledge and can serve as first responders during cardiac arrests,” Olumide said. (NAN)