Volunteers learn to use an automated external defibrillator during a training session in Xi’an, Shaanxi province. Dozens of these AEDs were installed at popular locations in the city. [Photo/Xinhua]
Proposal for first-aid kits in public areas among regulations up for consideration
Public places should be equipped with necessary first-aid equipment or facilities, according to a draft law submitted to China’s top legislature for review on Monday.
The regulation was included in the draft law on the promotion of basic medical care, which was submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for fourth review.
The latest draft also included regulations on improving pre-hospital emergency rescue systems to provide timely, standard and effective services for patients in critical condition before they arrive at hospital.
It also requires health and Red Cross authorities to intensify efforts to organize first aid training, and encourages medical staff and people with training to participate in first aid during emergencies.
Other regulations written into the draft include improving premarital healthcare and providing basic rehabilitation for the physically challenged, according to NPC’s Constitution and Law Committee.
The latest draft was made after public feedback and suggestions from lawmakers, government authorities and medical institutions, said Cong Bin, from the Constitution and Law Committee, at an NPC Standing Committee meeting in Beijing on Monday.
Many experts have appealed in recent years for emergency rescue equipment, such as portable defibrillators, to be provided in public places.
In one high-profile case, 35-year-old Godfrey Gao, a Chinese-Canadian actor and model, died of cardiac arrest while filming a television reality show in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, in late November. He died despite first aid efforts from medical staff on location before being sent to hospital.
Two days later, a 61-year-old man from Liaoning province had a heart attack on the subway in Beijing and died despite rescue efforts from subway and medical staff.
In both cases, there was no effective emergency equipment available, according to media reports.
Chen Zhi, director of Beijing Emergency Medical Center’s Training Center, said the law, if adopted, will improve access to first aid equipment in public places.
Some major cities in China, such as Shenzhen in Guangdong province, Shanghai and Beijing already have local regulations for emergency facilities in public places, but such regulations are not effectively carried out, he said.
“A national law will have greater ability to urge implementation by authorities,” Chen said. “It will also encourage places where such regulations are lacking to take the responsibility to install first aid equipment in public places.”
It is also necessary to make more detailed regulations to punish the failure to install first aid equipment in public places so the law can be more effectively carried out, he said.