A measure has been filed in the Senate seeking to require the placement of automated external defibrillators in public and private spaces nationwide to help increase the chances of survival of people who may suffer from heart attacks.
Sen. Lito Lapid, the author of the measure, said heart disease is among the leading causes of death in the Philippines. This includes sudden cardiac arrest which, if not treated or responded to immediately, can lead to death.
While CPR and basic chest compressions are part of most first-aid training, the availability and use of automated external defibrillators is "not common in the country," the senator added.
"Making automated external defibrillators available for use in times of sudden cardiac arrests will increase the chances of survival of the people afflicted by this dreaded condition. By revitalizing their hearts, we are giving them a new lease on life," Lapid said.
An automated external defibrillator is a portable life-saving device used to treat persons experiencing sudden heart attacks. It comes with pad electrodes needed to detect and interpret an electrocardiogram and deliver an electrical shock.
Under the measure, all government buildings, including but not limited to offices, courts, schools, public parks, markets, airports, seaports, train stations, and other transport terminals are required to place automated external defibrillators in their premises.
Automated external defibrillators will also be required in private places with high volumes of people, such as hotels, resorts, casinos, malls, condominiums, sports and entertainment venues, amusement parks, factors, and other similar places.
The Department of Health is tasked under the measure to establish a training program on the proper use and maintenance of automated external defibrillators. Employees of the covered institutions, as well as the public, will also be made aware of the placements of these devices through signages, posters, brochures, and other media.
"The DOH shall likewise implement a public education and awareness campaign through various communication channels on the importance of automated external defibrillators in saving lives," the bill added.
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