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China Daily Global / 2020-12 / 21 / Page004

Shanghai teen helps save life of heart attack victim

By CAO CHEN in Shanghai | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-12-21 00:00

Actions by a 15-year-old high school student in Shanghai recently demonstrated how immediate resuscitation efforts can save lives.

The student, Sheng Xiaohan, was on his way home from school at around 9 pm on Oct 27 when he saw a group of people gathering around a man who was lying on the ground unconscious on Zhaojiabang Road.

Drawing on his first-aid knowledge, Sheng immediately offered to help the man, surnamed Wang, by checking his pulse.

At first, he thought Wang, 63, might have choked, so he tried administering abdominal thrusts on the man, but no objects were expelled from his airway. Sheng then assumed Wang was suffering a heart attack.

He asked people around him to give him more space and performed CPR for around six minutes, during which time Wang started breathing again before an ambulance arrived to take him to a hospital.

Sheng didn't give his name to Wang's friends, but they recognized the logo of his school-Shanghai Gezhi High School-on his uniform.

On Wednesday, Wang showed up at the school to thank the boy.

"I just did what I wanted, there's no need for me to be thanked or known by the public," Sheng said. "I hope everyone remembers it is just a high school student's deed, and when others need help, please lend a hand without hesitation."

Sheng's classmates were not surprised by his heroism.

"He is outgoing and kind. He always steps up whenever people need help, like when he operates projection equipment for teachers or helps me study," said classmate Hu Zhixiang. "He is a role model for me now."

Sheng's deeds stem from the basic life support skills he acquired at school.

Gezhi High School offers training and lectures on first aid, disease prevention and other health education to students. In early October, for instance, 10th grade students received training in CPR and first-aid bandaging skills.

Such training has been supported by the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, which has increased health education for young people and has carried it out in primary and secondary schools across the city.

The commission said local schools have also created educational platforms to impart related knowledge to teachers and students.

According to a health plan issued by the State Council, people should be guided to learn and master first-aid skills.

The plan said every primary and secondary school should have one teacher per 50 students who has been trained in first aid. It also said more automated external defibrillators-or AEDs, which are devices used to treat people who experience sudden cardiac arrest-should be available in public places.

In Shanghai, other sectors besides education have endeavored to build a safe city for residents.

Over 2,000 AEDs are available in public places including airports, subway stations and supermarkets. The devices are seen as an efficient way to save lives if used within four minutes of a cardiac arrest episode before brain cells are permanently damaged due to a lack of oxygen. People without medical experience are able to use them by following instructions on the devices.

Demand for first-aid training has been surging after reports of ordinary people saving lives, according to the Shanghai Red Cross Hospital.

By last month, the hospital had provided 280,000 public training sessions.

A staff member from the Shanghai Medical Emergency Center told the Eastday news portal that practice is critical when it comes to first aid, and training should be conducted through small classes with quality content and strict assessment.

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