Odds & Ends 16 : Kiss of Life
Every organisation, every workplace, every home, should have at least one person who can do CPR - give the Kiss of Life!

CPR of course stands for Cardio-Pulmonary-Resuscitation, meaning simply bringing back to life a heart that has stopped. More people than commonly known die due to a heart attack not taken care of within the first few minutes. If you know CPR, you can save a life -- if you don't you may watch someone die in front of you, someone whom you could have, might have, saved.I knew CPR from way back when, in the USA. In Singapore, I had gone to the Emergency Preparedness Fairs held near by HDB Block a couple of times, watched, even practised, on a dummy.

But when they announced that the NRC (National Resuscitation Council) would give free training and aim for a Guiness Record, I said to myself. 'Why Not?' and then got up early on Sunday 16th January morning, and got myself registered at Singapore Expo Hall 7.

Of course I knew the theory, backwards and forwards:
(1) Call 995 for help,
(2) Straighten the air passage,
(3) Cclear the throat of any obstructions,
(4) Check if the victim is breathing,
(5) P
ress with ball of palm on breastbone       rhythmically 30 times,
(6) Blow forcefully into the mouth twice,
(7) Repeat five cycles,
(8) Check again,
(9) Continue until help arrives, or as long as you       can do it.

But actually doing it, even on a slightly less than life-size upper torso dummy, was quite another thing altogether!

I had determined not to let anyone pamper me because of my age, but I could feel the strain of kneeling down to blow in the air and additionally keeping my elbows stiff to push down hard each time for 30 times in fast succession. But I did pretty well!

The dummy was the butt of a lot of jokes and man-handling by many of the school kids who formed part of the group of 6 that was under the same trainer in our rectangular 'cell'. But they too settled down to serious business soon. I called mine 'CAPUR' from the first letters of CPR, and also the word sounds like 'Kapoor' an Indian name which means 'Camphor'.

After a few rounds of explanation and demonstration by the trainers, and a couple of practice sessions by the trainees, we got the hang of it.

Then another veteran trainer (Mr. Rajah) came in and tested us in the theory and practice. I am happy to say I got 10/10 in the theory, and I gave the practical everything I got, imagining that it was indeed a person (hopefully still alive) I was saving instead of a plastic dummy -- as you can see from the picture at right!

So, I passed, and was certified as a "CITIZEN CPR LIFE SAVER", at least for the next two years.

Perhaps because I was the oldest (?) there, or possibly because I was the father-in-law of the chief organiser and Chairman of the NRC, Dr. V. Anantharaman (which fact I had not revealed till the end of the test!) the trainers wanted a picture with me and the Chief, (and my now-alive Capur) as you see at the right.

After the test, I stood in line to receive my Certificate (actually a golden hued card pictured above) signed by NRC Chairman.

There were more than 3000 participants in the morning session. There must have been more in the afternoon, because the official tally for both sessions on that day was 7909! It has beaten local and regional records for most persons trained in CPR in one location in one day, and is tipped to make the Guiness World Record!

I am proud to have been part of it. You may be sure I hope others take up this training too! It is not rocket science, but it does take concentration, dedication, and commitment ... and it can save someone's life, somewhere, sometime!