“During the festive season, when the word love takes on even more meaning, it is important to look out for others and to be able to help our fellow human beings in need. One such way is, for example, timely resuscitation, which can give life, the world’s greatest treasure, back to people in danger,” says Éva Szabó Surmanné, coordinator of the SZÍVSN National Patient Association in Szolnok. Thanks to the support staff of Istvánné Zsuzsi Kovács and Xénia Gyengéné Horner, who joined the group in April this year, Eva has more time to organise further programmes, so they have teamed up with the skill lab of the hospital with the support of the hospital management and the laboratory staff.
The Skill lab is a unit equipped with simulation tools where patient care, in this case life-saving resuscitation, can be practiced in a risk-free environment with state-of-the-art and high-quality equipment. It is in this spirit that weekly demonstrations are organised for members of the association and other interested parties, when the lab’s staff, Ildikó Sipos and Anett Veress-Finta, explained and practised the skills with great professionalism, infinite patience and great empathy to the participants, who arrived in groups of eight. – When I asked them what motivated them, I got the most varied answers, says Éva:
“I’m afraid for my partner, if something happens to him, I don’t know what to do.” “Our granddaughter is often at our house, anything could happen to her.” “The other day an old lady got sick on the street next to me. It was awful.”
As the lab staff demonstrated, the first and most important step in providing assistance is to make sure the environment is safe so that we, as first responders, don’t get into trouble. In the meantime, find out who to ask for help. Then, as a consciousness check, call out loudly to the person on the ground, shake their shoulders vigorously and if they do not respond, listen for 10 seconds for breathing and chest rise. If there are not at least two regular breaths, start CPR by pressing the chest with the clasped hand to the centre of the chest, in the lower third of the sternum, to a depth of 5-6 cm. In the meantime, call or ask for an ambulance on 112 and introduce yourself, give the exact address and what you need help with. In the meantime, apply chest compressions without interruption, even with the help of others, until the ambulance arrives or the distressed person’s vital signs are reported. It is reassuring not to be left to ourselves, because the ambulance staff will stay on the line until the ambulance arrives, providing both professional and emotional support, so we do not interrupt the call.
The demonstrations also gave participants the opportunity to learn how to use automatic defibrillators in practice. They also highlighted the usefulness of a life-saving app that can be downloaded to a smart phone, which also provides information on where to find such a device near where you are. A map of the emergency services also provides a list of devices in the county. In Szolnok, there are currently 32 automatic defibrillators available, which can provide effective help in the hands of the layperson if someone’s circulation stops due to an arrhythmia. And the Skill lab provides the opportunity to learn how to use them and practice interventions in a crisis.
Christmas is here, a time of love, when we pay more attention to our loved ones, but we should also remember the grey days of the week. Even then, we need the power of love and care for others.