Rhythmic Tales: CPR Law & AED Bill, Whereto?
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Rhythmic Tales: CPR Law & AED Bill, Whereto?

May 28, 2024, 6:08 AM
Cheryl Luis True

Cheryl Luis True


The 54th Annual Convention and Scientific Meeting of the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) and Philippine College of Cardiology has once again put the heart at the heart of national discourse in “PHA Usapang Puso sa Puso” convention at Isla 3 Ballroom, Tower Wing, Edsa Shangri-La Hotel, Mandaluyong City on May 28, 2024.

This year’s spotlight is on two critical lifelines: the CPR Act, eight years into its enactment, and the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Bill, six years after the PHA’s vigorous lobbying efforts. So, where do we stand, and more importantly, where are we headed?

The milestones of the CPR-Ready and CPR on Wheels & Wings initiatives are nothing short of commendable. These campaigns have ambitiously transformed tourist hotspots into heart-health emergency-ready zones, training a whopping 2 million Filipinos in basic life-saving skills. It’s a testament to the PHA’s commitment to making CPR knowledge as commonplace as knowing how to tie a shoelace. But, as impressive as these strides are, they underscore a bigger question: when will the legislative framework catch up?

The CPR Act was a significant leap forward, but it’s the AED Bill that’s now playing catch-up in the marathon of legislative processes. Despite various versions being filed in both houses of Congress, the bill’s progress has been, to put it mildly, arrhythmic. During this convention, PHA, along with its allies from Congress and the Department of Health, aims to synchronize their efforts and get this life-saving bill off the ground. The goal? To ensure every public space in the Philippines is AED-equipped, making heart health emergencies more survivable for every Juan and Juana.

Hands-only CPR has been proven to save lives. It’s simple, effective, and crucially, it’s something anyone can do. The CPR-readyPH campaign aims to embed this knowledge into every Filipino household, aligning the nation with global CPR-ready standards. Yet, the conversation can’t stop there. We need the AED Bill to ensure that, when CPR isn’t enough, an AED is within arm’s reach to deliver that life-saving shock.

Turning our tourist destinations into CPR and AED havens is a brilliant move. But why stop there? The next logical step is to ensure that every public place, from schools to shopping malls, is similarly equipped and that the general populace is trained not just in CPR but also in the use of AEDs. It’s about creating a culture of preparedness, where saving a life becomes second nature.

The linkage between arrhythmia, ischemia, and other cardiovascular diseases adds another layer of urgency to this campaign. The more we understand these connections, the clearer it becomes that having AEDs readily available is not a luxury—it’s a necessity. Devices like AEDs and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are not just medical marvels; they are wise investments in public health. They bridge the gap between a medical emergency and professional care, often being the difference between life and death.

As the PHA collaborates with legislative champions like Hon. Anthony Rolando Golez, Jr. and Hon. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, the message is clear: It’s time to fast-track the AED Bill. It’s time to equip the nation with the tools and knowledge to tackle heart emergencies head-on. The vision is bold but achievable—a CPR-ready and AED-equipped Philippines, where every heartbeat counts and every life can be saved.

While the CPR Act was a crucial first step, the AED Bill is the next vital stride towards a heart-safe nation. The PHA’s relentless efforts, combined with legislative support, can turn this vision into reality. The rhythm of progress might have its irregularities, but with continued effort and public support, we can ensure a steady, life-saving beat for the future. For more information, visit https://www.philheart.org/ .

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