‘Hands on Heart Club’ by Fortis launched by British Deputy High Commissioner

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NewZNew (Chandigarh) : Chandigarh, January 16, 2016: After providing training in basic life support (BLS) and first aid techniques to over 8,500 people till date, Fortis Hospital Mohali under its campaign to build a ‘generation of lifesavers’ has decided to rope in the community at large in this task. In the past year alone, close to 3,000 personnel from Punjab and UT police have received certified training in BLS skills from Fortis Mohali. Apart from this, students from dozens of tri-city schools have also attended these regular workshops, thus learning the skills early on.

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On Saturday evening, British Deputy High Commissioner Chandigarh Mr David Lelliott and SP (Communications & Law and Order) UT Police, Mr Roshan Lal, launched a Fortis Hospital initiative ‘Hands on Heart Club’ to teach the Tricity residents BLS skills and improve their preparedness for handling medical emergencies. Sector 17 Plaza witnessed a foot-tapping flash mob to demonstrate the ease and importance of learning hands-only Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) as part of the launch.

Commenting on the launch of ‘Hands on Heart Club’, Mr Ashish Bhatia, COO-North & East, Fortis Healthcare Ltd., said the initiative will contribute tremendously towards Fortis’ vision of ‘Saving and Enriching Lives’. “With Hands on Heart Club, we are looking at involving the citizens of the tri-city in this noble endeavour. As Chandigarh aspires to be a Smart City, we are doing our bit to train the citizens to be efficient first responders to prevent potential cardiac catastrophes, thus making them all potential lifesavers.”

The Club will intensify its efforts to train the community in these crucial skills, and anybody could get registered for a session, he added.

Mr David Lelliott, who had recently led his team from the British Deputy High Commission Chandigarh during a BLS session at Fortis Mohali, said the training was the need of the hour.

SP Roshan Lal, whole-heartedly supporting the initiative, said while the UT police was continuing to get this specialized training at Fortis Hospital Mohali in large number, it was a good idea to rope in the community as well, as more lifesavers at hand would mean more lives saved. “I have attended the training session at Fortis myself and encourage my team to do so too,” he added.

An on-the-spot enrolment drive was also launched and people appended their signatures on a giant board in support of the cause.

Tracing the journey of ‘Hands on Heart Club’, Dr Parvinder Chawla and Dr Arun Kumar – two Fortis doctors who have been passionately working in this direction – said, “Beginning from a small team of two in 2007, we’re now a group of over 15 medical and nursing personnel with a strong zeal to bridge the divide between what the community knows and what science has proven that it should know to be able to save precious lives.”

“In case of an emergency, crucial minutes are often lost before the patient gets the right help. This often happens due to lack of awareness on part of the first responders regarding the best way forward. Our vision is to spread this crucial knowledge to the entire community and to make these ‘life-saving’ skills a part of everybody’s life. For the community, we’re doing this through our three programmes: ‘I’m a lifesaver’, ‘Suraksha’ (for policemen) and American Heart Association’s Family and Friends workshop,” they added.

The world over, organizations like Red Cross have recognized that taking a Basic Life Support course could possibly help save a life. “First aid training and basic life support skills need to be learned for loved ones, if not for yourself. A trained community member can minimize the impact of injury, assist with recovery and perhaps also save a life,” said Mr Ashish Bhatia.

Fortis Mohali had dedicated an entire week (December 9-15) to building awareness around the cause by carrying out activities as part of ‘Resuscitation Week’. Training sessions on Basic Life Support were held for all, right from the senior administrators to the junior front-line staff of the hospital. “Our first aim is to ensure that each and every employee working in Fortis Hospital Mohali is aware about the crucial skills of identifying cardiac arrest timely, starting CPR timely and giving good quality CPR,” said Dr Parvinder Chawla, Club founder.