American Heart Association Recognizes Emirati From Dubai As First UAE Heartsaver Hero for Action Helping Save Heart Attack Victim

AHA and Its Local Affiliate Train More Than 300 Travelers to Recognize a Cardiac Event and Perform Lifesaving CPR During Ceremony at Dubai International Airport

March 13, 2017 Categories: Program News

Dubai, 13 March 2017 – The American Heart Association (AHA) – the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease –  recognized the first “Heartsaver Hero” from the UAE in an event today at the Dubai International Airport. The award acknowledges an individual who has used effective training to sustain or save a life and is part of the AHA’s activities around Heartsaver Month, celebrated annually in March in the Middle East.

Additionally, the Dubai Health Authority’s clinic at the Dubai International Airport offered free Hands-Only CPR training to travelers and airport employees during a five-hour event. More than 300 people received this training, adding to AHA’s goal of training 25,000 new cardiac lifesavers in the Middle East and North Africa during this Heartsaver Month.

Attending the event and the first hour of the training was Mohammed Naji Ali Dabos. Last year, Corporal Dabos was monitoring road surveillance cameras in a Dubai Police operations room when he used his training to identify someone having a heart attack. Operating remotely, he immediately dispatched a patrol car and an ambulance. The victim survived.  This was the first time Corporal Dabos had encountered such a medical cardiac emergency.

“This corporal is a true hero, not only to the patient, but also to his family,” said Abdurazak Jumale, MD, Medical In Charge, Airport Medical Center, Dubai Health Authority and a volunteer with the AHA. “He acted wisely and fast, which are two keys in increasing survival from cardiac events.”

Heartsaver Month emphasizes the important role bystanders play for someone experiencing a cardiac event. For example, in cardiac arrest, a life-or-death cardiovascular event in which the heart suddenly stops, survival depends on immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby. Immediate CPR can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.

Conventional CPR, which consists of rescue breaths and chest compressions, requires a training course by an educational body such as the AHA. Hands-Only CPR can be performed by anyone and takes just a few minutes to learn, as more than 300 people did throughout the day at the Dubai International Airport. The two simple steps of Hands-Only CPR are: 

  1. Call the local emergency response number.

  2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest at the rate of 100-120 beats per minute until help arrives.

“Every second counts in a cardiac arrest,” said Firas Al-Najjar, MD, Consultant Emergency Medicine/Residency Program Director, Rashid Hospital, Dubai Health Authority and a volunteer with the AHA. “Even those who have not been formally trained in conventional CPR with breaths can perform Hands-Only CPR, a simple, effective technique that physically pumps the heart, providing oxygenated blood to vital organs. And, since most cardiac arrests occur outside of a hospital, the life saved is likely to be a family member or friend.”

Globally, approximately six million lives are lost each year due to cardiac arrests, lives that could have been saved with appropriate intervention. Closer to home, the Health Authority in Abu Dhabi indicated that 35 percent of all deaths in the UAE in 2014 were a result of cardiovascular diseases, overtaking road trauma as leading cause of death in the country. This indicates a high prevalence of serious heart health issues in the UAE, a major risk factor associated with both heart attacks and cardiac arrests.

“The most important part of any training is being able to recognize a situation and understand how to respond,” said Corporal Dabos. “I feel fortunate to have undergone training that prepared me to be able to identify signs of a potentially fatal heart attack, and I encourage others to take such training because you never know when you might need the skills to save a life.”

More information on Hands-Only CPR is available through online tutorials on the American Heart Association YouTube page and website. As part of its Heartsaver Month education, CPR courses are also available through AHA outlets and affiliated training centers. The training centers are also offering Hands-Only CPR sessions that are free to attend throughout the Middle East.

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – two of the leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The AHA is one of the world’s oldest and largest voluntary organizations dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, visit http://www.heart.org/ or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about Emergency Cardiovascular Care training around the world, visit http://www.international.heart.org/.

For more information, please contact:

Tuleen Habach; Edelman UAE; M: +971 56 415 9836; E: tuleen.habach@edelman.com

Jung Yee Tan; Edelman UAE; M: +971 54 306 6393; E: JungYee.Tan@edelman.com