The Straits Times
Published on Nov 12, 2012

Place more emphasis on preventing heart attacks


ACCORDING to the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), there were 125,966 emergency calls made to it last year.

Of these, 9,873 calls were related to cardiovascular cases.

Madam Bay Wan Chun was correct to ask whether the growth in the number of SCDF ambulances has kept pace with demand ("Brother's death: Questions on emergency response"; Nov 3).

Considering Singapore's surge in population over the years, it is inevitable that SCDF ambulances may face challenges ahead in keeping up with public demand.

The authorities could initiate a national study to determine if the daily usage volume of emergency ambulances is too high.

As cardiac arrest cases are "time-sensitive", prompt and efficient emergency ambulance services can help to improve the outcome for victims.

Some people have pre-existing heart conditions that show no obvious symptoms and remain undetected.

Doctors and cardiologists have advised people, regardless of age and gender, to undergo medical check-ups and comprehensive screenings before they undertake rigorous exercise.

Perhaps the Singapore Heart Foundation could create more public awareness on the various kinds of heart disease that can affect different age groups and genders.

Heart-attack survivors could be roped in to share their experiences in public health workshops.

More emphasis must be placed on preventing heart attacks.

Ada Chan (Ms)