A partnership agreement was established between AUBM and the Civil Defense on their National Public Access Defibrillator Program. This comes as part of an initiative by The Survival Chain Partners represented by Dr. Hussain Isma’eel, Director of the Vascular Medicine Program at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), Dr. Malek Mohammad, President of the Lebanese Society of Cardiology (LSC), Dr. Mazen El-Sayed, President of the Lebanese Society of Emergency Medicine (LSEM), Remy Rebeiz, Young Heart Foundation, and Yohan for Life Foundation.
This partnership will help train 500 Civil Defense personnel on CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) use, train 1700 individuals from the community on CPR and AED and distribute 44 AEDs as part of the first wave. These AEDs will be linked to the Civil Defense and will be supervised by Dr. Mazen El-Sayed through the Emergency Department at AUBMC. Along the same lines, the LSC and LSEM will work on providing the scientific umbrella for this program.
Currently, the survival rate for out of hospital cardiac arrest in Lebanon is less than 5% compared to 50% of cases in other developed parts of the world. As such, the Survival Chain Partners are working on improving this situation. They have also joined effort with the health committee in the Lebanese Parliament for the purpose of submitting an amendment to Criminal Law 567 and introducing a section that parallels what is known as the Good Samaritan Law in the USA and Europe. The law will encourage bystander CPR and AED use.
The above agreement is the second step in a plan that is being implemented sequentially where AUB plays a key role to improve the survival rate of out of hospital cardiac arrest victims in Lebanon. More steps will be revealed in the coming period.