Even those trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) might lack the confidence to respond to a real-life emergency, but now there is a tool to help.
Called the CPRcard, it is placed on a person's chest during CPR. It can tell a rescuer if he is performing chest compressions too deeply or quickly, allowing him to adjust the pace on the spot.
The card is part of a pilot programme by the Health Ministry's Unit for Pre-Hospital Emergency Care (UPEC) to increase the bystander CPR assistance rate, which currently stands at about 40 per cent.
So far, around 4,000 CPRcards have been given out at CPR training events, including some 200 at the Chua Chu Kang Health and Sports Carnival yesterday. The plan is to give out 15,000 cards in total.
Also, by tracking data stored in the cards, researchers can study what needs to be done to ensure better CPR.
"In the past, we had no way to know what a layperson was doing when they started bystander CPR," said Associate Professor Marcus Ong, who is medical director of UPEC. "This is the first peek we get into what is going on."
Among those who have already used the card in an emergency is 17-year-old Muhammad Luqman Abdul Rahman.
On his way to school one day in March, he received an alert on the Singapore Civil Defence Force's myResponder app that someone in a nearby block had collapsed. He was able to save the elderly woman.
"It's good to have guidance," said the Temasek Junior College student. "With the adrenaline (rush), we sometimes tend to go too fast or too deep during CPR."