‘Sudden Deaths’ due to cardiac arrest has become one of the leading causes of deaths in Sri Lanka. Receiving Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and an electric shock to the heart from a Defibrillator immediately during a cardiac arrest, gives a 50% – 70% chance of survival. An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a device made for non-medical personnel to deliver an electric shock to a patient in an emergency. The device is fully automated and gives voice commands, allowing anyone with a basic training to operate it. Identifying the need for an AED at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), which receives around 1.5 million passengers every year, Hemas Surgicals & Diagnostics (Pvt) Ltd., donated a Nihon Kohden AED at the request of the College of Anesthetist.
The handing-over ceremony was held recently at the Silk Route Lounge with the participation of the Chairman of Airport & Aviation Company (Pvt) Ltd. – Major General (Rtd) G.A. Chandrasiri, Managing Director of Hemas Surgicals & Diagnostics – Mr. Jude Fernando, Deputy Director General of Health Services – Dr. S. Sridharan, President of College of Anesthetists & Intensivists – Dr. Anoma Perera, and the Chairperson of the National Resuscitation Council – Dr. Nilmini Wijesooriya.
The Nihon Kohden AED can be used by anyone with a basic training of CPR and AED usage. The machine has 2 pads which, once pasted to the patient’s chest, will analyze the ECG rhythm and give voice commands to direct the operator. If a shock treatment is needed, the machine will prompt the command and charge itself within a few seconds to deliver the shock to the patient’s heart. There is no space for error as the commands from the machine are based on the patient’s ECG analysis.
Speaking at the occasion Managing Director of Hemas Surgicals & Diagnostics (Pvt) Ltd., Mr. Jude Fernando stated, “An average of 2 cardiac related medical emergencies are reported every month at the BIA. Therefore, having a highly sophisticated machine such as the AED made by Nihon Kohden Corporation, Japan installed at the Airport, helps the timely intervention of attending to such medical emergencies. It further boosts the image of the BIA as a passenger friendly Airport.”
Following the donation, a demonstration of the machine was conducted by Consultants from the College of Anesthetists. Training programmes for the general public on CPR and AED usage have been conducted by The College of Anesthetists & Intensivists of Sri Lanka commencing from the World Re-start a Heart Day since October 2022. The staff of BIA will also undergo similar training to be well equipped in handling a cardiac arrest situation at the airport.
Nihon Kohden Corporation is a world leader in manufacturing life saving medical devices and Hemas Surgicals & Diagnostics (Pvt) Ltd is the sole agent of Nihon Kohden products in Sri Lanka.