The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) has announced that it will be conducting a training drive for its drivers and conductors in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). The drive is set to be conducted in association with Jaslok Hospital, and will take place at all of the undertaking's depots.

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A spokesperson for BEST stated, "The drive will be launched on May 4th, and will involve a CPR training drive at all depots of the undertaking in association with Jaslok Hospital. All drivers and conductors will be trained under this drive, which will be launched at Colaba Conference Hall on May 4th." The spokesperson added that around 5000 drivers and conductors would be covered under the drive.

Medical experts have highlighted that cardiac arrest can happen anytime and in public places. Therefore, this type of training will be helpful in situations where people don't understand what to do when a person collapses. BEST officials have announced that Maharashtra's Deputy Chief Minister's wife, Amrutha Fadnavis, will be the brand ambassador for this CPR training campaign. The initial training will be conducted at the undertaking's 26 bus depots.

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Lokesh Chandra, General Manager of BEST, has confirmed that CPR training will be given by experts in a phased manner to all drivers and conductors. Chandra noted that nearly 3400 bus services are operated by the undertaking in the city daily, which is used by around 35 lakh Mumbaikars.

CPR is a first aid technique that can be used if someone is not breathing properly. It is also known as an emergency process performed on cardiac arrest victims to preserve brain function until any emergency medical service team arrives. "If CPR is done within 2 minutes in the right manner, it can reverse the arrest," said an expert. Sudden cardiac arrest may occur if the heart arteries become clogged with cholesterol and other deposits, reducing blood flow to the heart.

According to a medical journal published in 2019, sudden cardiac arrest is a condition where the heart suddenly stops, and the person dies. Approximately 10% of deaths in India are due to sudden cardiac arrest, which is also the most common factor of death in the world. The study also revealed that more than 16% of cardiac arrest cases are reported in public places.

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A BEST bus driver, who has been driving buses for over two decades, said, "Although this is a common problem, it has increased after COVID-19. Before COVID-19, it rarely happened, but in the last year, two passengers complained of breathing problems while travelling on my bus." The driver, who did not have authorization to speak with media, added that they immediately contact the person's relative and turn the bus towards the nearest hospital if needed.

A BEST conductor welcomed the move, saying, "If any person complains about a breathing problem, we immediately contact them and turn the bus towards the nearest hospital if needed. I am sure this type of drive will definitely prove helpful to handle such situations."

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