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CPR stall pumps out skills to public

China Daily | Updated: 2020-08-26 09:41
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JINAN-In a bustling square in Weifang, Shandong province, Zhang Junqiao has a stall completely different from others serving snacks and drinks in the night market.

With four patient simulators on the ground, Zhang gives training in first-aid skills, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the Heimlich maneuver, with the help of nine other doctors.

Zhang, 33, an anesthetist at the Affiliated Hospital of Weifang Medical University, set up the stall on his own.

"There is a misconception that you can master how to perform CPR through watching videos," said Zhang, who was a member of Shandong's 10th medical team aiding the fight against COVID-19 in Hubei province earlier this year.

"However, actually doing it differs greatly from what is shown in the videos."

Many people flocked to his stall and some took part in one of the training exercises. Among them was Abbas, a 23-year-old Indian who graduated from Weifang Medical University this year.

Abbas performed chest compressions on a patient simulator, following detailed instructions given by Zhang. "Although I can perform CPR, I came here because I want to sharpen my skills," Abbas said.

According to the National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, China reports around 550,000 cases of sudden cardiac death every year on average, including instances that happen outside hospitals.

Zhang said although nonprofessionals may not be as skilled as medical workers while performing CPR, they can save lives in an emergency.

During the day, Zhang does his anesthetist work at the hospital and offers first-aid training to doctors and medical students. At night, he goes to communities to give CPR lectures to residents or runs his stall in the square.

In his free time he tries to spread awareness and practical skills on CPR to the public, which is his long-term goal.

Zhang opened his stall on June 7 after purchasing the patient simulators with his own money.

He also initiated the nonprofit Heartbeat Action group to better achieve his dream.

Besides the nearly 70 medical workers in Weifang, more than 30 others from across the country have contacted Zhang hoping to be a part of his action group. Zhang provides them with educational materials and funds, and passes on his teaching experience to them.

An increasing number of parents, kindergarten staff members, and community workers are applying for Zhang's CPR training. Since June 12, he has held more than 30 educational events.

Netizens hailed his benevolence after videos of his stall went viral on Chinese social media.

"I don't want to be an online celebrity. I just hope more medical personnel can popularize pre-hospital first aid and save more lives," he said.

Zhang also wants to collaborate with more high schools to help students master CPR skills.

His hospital not only provides him with equipment to teach CPR, but is also building a Heartbeat Action experience center, which will be open to the public.

He said taking what he has learned in the health field and giving back to society is "extremely worthwhile".


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