Saturday, December 14, 2019

Praise for Bangkok’s lifesavers on two wheels

Sep 30. 2018
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By The Nation

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Ready to help in case of emergencies at public gatherings, members of a group called AED Bike Thailand are on hand with crucial first-aid equipment strapped to their bicycles.

Dr Ukrit Milinthangkul of the Emergency Medical Foundation of Thailand said this weekend the group posts members at different kinds of events in Bangkok, including running marathons and culture festivals. 

He said the foundation had in 2015 helped assemble the group of cycling enthusiasts, who include doctors, paramedics and citizens trained in first aid. 

All can do cardiopulmonary resuscitation and use an automated external defibrillator. 

Membership in the group, which chiefly attends marathons and other sport events that draw large crowds, has since grown to nearly 100, Ukrit said. 

With the volunteers and their bikes mingling in the crowd, they can get to people in distress quickly and apply treatment until an emergency medical team summoned via hotline 1669 or an ambulance crew arrives. 

Team members operate in pairs to serve as first responders in the first four critical minutes and meanwhile call in the necessary extra help, in a concept known as “chain of survival”, Ukrit said.

Dr Pairoj Boonsirikhamchai, deputy secretary general of the National Institute for Emergency Medicine, said his agency supported the group’s work by providing equipment and training.

He praised the volunteers for giving up their personal time to protect others free of charge. 

Pairoj pointed out that CPR performed before the ambulance arrives can boost the victim’s chance for survival to 50 per cent. If the victim has to wait for the ambulance, the chance of survival is only 27 per cent.

In the case of cardiac arrest – not uncommon in sports – immediately applying a defibrillator improves the chance of survival even more.

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