The Your Heart Matters project was undertaken by a group of 5, third year medical students from the Institute of Health Sciences namely IHS, UBD under the supervision of 2 lecturers from UBD; Mr Agong bin Lupat and Dr Anne Cunningham, and a Cardiologist from RIPAS Hospital; Dr Sofian bin Dato Paduka Dr Haji Johar. The members comprises of Nabilah Fadzilah binti Haji Johani, Adibah Syahmina binti Mohammad Amin, Siti Nabihah binti Haji Sahralidin, Amal Azimah binti Haji Johar and Muhammad Amirsalman bin Nor Azman.

The project was initiated due to the very worrying and saddening reported percentage of those who survived after a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) outside the hospital. This was reported in a study on the Outcomes of Cardiac Arrest this year in Brunei from the year 2017 to 2019 which was carried out by Nabilah. Sudden Cardiac Arrest is an electrical problem in the heart, causing the heart to malfunction and not beat properly. This will cause insufficient blood supply to the body which could lead to organ damage or even death. It had also been found that the majority of the cases that were included in this study did not know the signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest and what should and can be done to save the victim as it mostly happens at home. Hence it is important for the public to note the signs or symptoms of Sudden Cardiac Arrest which includes; unconscious, unresponsive and not breathing or only gasping.

It is worth mentioning that Sudden Cardiac Arrest can happen to anyone whether it is a stranger, a loved one or even ourselves. Hence, we as the public are actually able to help save the victims in this medical emergency to which we, the Your Heart Matters team, aim to increase awareness on Sudden Cardiac Arrest and educate members of the public especially the working population on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) procedures. A number of events were carried out throughout the month of September and early of October, in hopes to urge the public to help make a change and save lives.

Firstly, we have held sessions at several workplaces such as Government agencies as well as private companies where we briefed on Sudden Cardiac Arrest and CPR procedures. Following the lecture session, participants then have a practical session where they are given the opportunity to practice CPR techniques using manikins. We have also opened our session to the public through a Zoom online briefing session and those interested in the practical session are invited to come to IHS, UBD a week after the online session. We are grateful to have received a convincing response from participants among the working community as well as the general public with a total number of 153 participants.

In addition, the Gleneagles Cardiac Centre had approached us for a collaboration to hold an event in conjunction with World Heart Day 2020. Although we mainly focus on raising awareness on Sudden Cardiac Arrest as well as the correct CPR procedure, we also believe that it is crucial for the public to be aware of the conditions that predisposes Sudden Cardiac Arrest such as diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease and many more. This also includes the practice of a healthy heart lifestyle. The event took place for 2 days at Level 3 Concourse Area, Extension Building, PAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences, on the 30th September (2.00 – 4.00pm) and 1st October (9.00 – 11.00am). The activities included health screenings such as Body Mass Index, Blood Pressure, Blood Glucose Check and a more simpler procedure of Electrocardiogram with just using 2 fingers, a CPR demonstration as well as exhibitions surrounding a healthy heart. In addition, there was also a booth where participants could write encouraging words to motivate the public towards a healthy heart or personal experiences with regards to heart conditions, whether it was themselves or close family or friends, anonymously. We are delighted and grateful to have received a considerable amount of support and participation among the working population as well as the general public on both days of the event.

We hope with this project and the implemented events, it will be very useful and fruitful for members of the public to be more aware of what is Sudden Cardiac Arrest and how to do CPR as they can help make a difference and save lives. We also hope that there is an increase in awareness of their heart and general health to help prevent and control conditions that predisposes Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Together we can work towards a healthy heart community who are lifesavers.