A matter of life and death

Rizal Faisal

A group of third year medical students from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) embarked on a virtual project to spread awareness on the importance of basic life support (BLS) and first aid, especially among those who are physically active.

The team, Active Response (AR), comprised Rafidah binti Misli, Koh Wan Enn, Muhammad Norhilmi bin Mohammad, Mohammad Hassan Syaibani bin Haji Hardifadhillah and Muhammad Syahmi Aiman bin Haji Zulhazmi.

AR was supported by Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences (PAPRSB IHS), UBD and its Basic Life Support and First Aid Training Centre, and sponsored by a host of organisations and companies.

“AR members are certified by the American Heart Association (AHA) in BLS and first aid.

Throughout their interventions online, they were under the watchful eye of trainers under PAPRSB IHS,” the students behind AR told the Bulletin.

AR said they saw the need to share their knowledge with the public, as well as skills in case of an emergency, especially within the confine of COVID-19 measures.

“During our AHA training, we learnt that 70 per cent of cardiac arrests occur at home. Therefore, even in this pandemic, we can use the knowledge to perform necessary life-saving manoeuvres until the paramedics arrive,” the team said.

Participants during a virtual training session. PHOTO: AR

The name Active Response stands for actively responding to any medical emergencies, they said, as well as portraying their target population – the physically active.

Their ultimate goal was to inspire confidence in individuals to take action when a sports-related emergency arises such as performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and making use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).

The training was extended to the general public via Zoom, featuring an array of activities.
Five online sessions were conducted with 10 participants in each session to maximise the quality of disseminating information and tips on basic life support and first aid.

Once the public had signed up for the training through AR’s social media page, they were given an active response kit in the mail, which included first aid bandages and gauzes, a towel, protein cookies and hand sanitisers.

The sessions were conducted on September 13, 23, 25 and 26, with the webinars lasting two hours.

In addition, nine short pre-filmed videos on techniques and skills employed during a medical emergency were available for viewing on AR’s social media page.

The team believed that the videos allow the public to equip themselves with basic life support and first aid knowledge at their own pace, and to be used as guidelines in emergency situations, especially with access to a response team being more challenging in pandemic times.

“The public can watch the videos from our Instagram page,” they said. “We are planning to keep the videos up, so that people can refer to these videos during an emergency, especially among those who are unsure what to do or how to help a person in need of medical interventions.”