Tourist guides to turn saviours

| | New Delhi
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Tourist guides to turn saviours

Monday, 17 June 2024 | Archana Jyoti | New Delhi

Tourist guides  to turn saviours

In the wake of rising incidents of heart attacks, the IATO (Indian Association of Tour Operators) has proposed a crucial initiative aimed at ensuring first aid for tourists in emergencies: Training guides and drivers in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills.

The move, though, has come quite late from the IATO given that countries world over train their guides and drivers in such skills to effectively respond to emergencies, ensuring prompt and potentially life-saving interventions for visitors in distress.

An IATO official said they are advocating for comprehensive training programme to equip tour guides and drivers with CPR skills.  “We have written to the Tourists Guides Federation of India (TGFI) and Indian Tourist Transporters Association (ITTA) to organise the skill development training programme enabling the drivers and guides to provide quality services to the international standard to the foreign tourists.

“Training of first aid and CPR is needed as sometimes medical facilities are not available in remote areas and guides can save the lives of tourists.” There have been a few reported cases of heart attack among tourists also. 

The IATO official stressed that such training programmes should be organised annually as this will create confidence especially amongst foreign tourists, amid growing interest of inbound tourists for India.

This training will empower guides to respond promptly and effectively in critical situations, administering CPR to stabilise tourists experiencing cardiac emergencies until professional medical help arrives. By ensuring guides are well-prepared and capable of delivering immediate care, the IATO aims to significantly improve the safety and well-being of tourists visiting various destinations across India, he added. “We welcome such a much-needed move. This proactive approach not only prepares guides to handle medical emergencies effectively but also reinforces India’s reputation as a safe and responsible tourist destination. Through collaboration, standardization, and ongoing evaluation, the IATO is committed to ensuring that tourists receive timely and life-saving assistance when faced with critical health emergencies,” said Dr Rakesh Garg, Additional Professor of anesthesiology, intensive care, and palliative medicine at AIIMS, Delhi, and scientific director, of Indian Resuscitation Council.

Dr Garg added that almost 80 to 82 per cent of cardiac arrest happens outside the hospital. With each minute the chances of survival decrease by 7 to 10 minutes. If we don’t immediately give CPR, the patient will have a brain injury. In some countries, with increasing practice of CPR, it has been found that 40-60 per cent of people could be saved.

The IRC has also formulated the CPR guidelines for the laypersons known as COLS--Compression Only Life Support.

This simplified form of CPR is recommended for individuals who are not trained in conventional CPR with rescue breaths or for situations where the rescuer is uncomfortable giving mouth-to-mouth ventilation. Besides CPR, it’s also important to know how to use an AED.

According to global statistics, the majority of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest end up dying, due to not having people trained in CPR that can facilitate the life-saving procedure and avoid the death of that person.


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