Leading up to National Life Saving Day (NLSD) 2021, Singapore Heart Foundation (SHF) has launched the first female CPR manikin vest to increase awareness for education of CPR on women. This customised female CPR manikin vest fits most manikins in the market and will be used in SHF’s CPR+AED (Automated External Defibrillator) training programmes from now on and will be distributed to around 60 accredited CPR+AED training centres.
About 3,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in Singapore every year, and about one-third of casualties being women. If nothing is done to resuscitate the victim, chances of survival drop by 7 to 10% every minute. However, according to the 2020 “Knowledge, Attitude and Practice Survey on CPR+AED” commissioned by SHF and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), 6% of the 1,003 respondents quoted the fear of being accused of molest as a deterrent to perform CPR on a stranger.
As CPR+AED training is taught traditionally with manikins of a male physique, trained lifesavers are primed to be familiar with performing CPR on males compared to females. Coupled with fear of committing an outrage of modesty on a woman’s chest or inflicting injury on female cardiac arrest casualties, the gender gap in life-saving widens. Hence, it is imperative for bystanders to be equipped with the right mindset and techniques in order to effectively administer CPR+AED on women to help prevent death due to cardiac arrest.
In the course of our trainings, we often receive queries from participants on the issue of performing CPR+AED on female casualties, due to sensitivity of touching and exposing the female chest during the resuscitation process. With this female CPR manikin vest, participants can be accustomed to doing chest compressions around the female breasts and learn how to paste the AED pads without exposing the woman’s chest. To be frank, in such a life and death moment, no amount of embarrassment is worth refraining from saving a life. If I were to suffer a cardiac arrest one day, please give me CPR!”
– Denise Ng, Singapore Heart Foundation CPR+AED Chief Instructor
With this urgent need to educate on how CPR+AED can be effectively administered on women, and not just men, SHF is bridging this gap by equipping training centres with the customised female manikin vest so that community first-responders know how to effectively administer CPR and where to place the AED pads on women.
As mentioned by Dr Chee Tek Siong, Board Member and Co-chairman of the Heart Safe Committee, SHF, “With the distribution of the customised female manikin vests to CPR+AED training centres, more Singaporeans can enjoy greater access to training modules on administering CPR+AED on women, therefore effectively lowering the mental barriers to saving a life.”
For more information about the Singapore Heart Foundation CPR+AED certification course as well as other courses and programmes available, please visit https://www.myheart.org.sg/learn/
Images: Singapore Heart Foundation