September is CPR Month in the Latin America, Caribbean, Spain and Portugal (LACSP) region. The month-long campaign is designed to create awareness of the issue of cardiac arrest and train more people in the LACSP region in CPR. Cardiac arrest can occur to anyone at any time – and often occurs outside of a hospital, like at home, at work or at play.
More and more countries in Latin America are concerned about cardiac arrest, which has led to the development of regulatory frameworks that demand the availability of AED in public and private places. The most recent of these countries is Colombia, which in August of this year and through its decree 1465, regulated the law 1831 of 2017 that regulates the use of AEDs in high traffic places. The law focuses on protecting places according to the number of people, the activity they carry out and the epidemiologic risk by implementing the AED. In one of its articles, decree 1465 highlights the importance of the chain of survival, in line with the statements of the American Heart Association. This is a fundamental decision of the Colombian government and will hopefully lead to a better expectation of survival for all those who suffer from cardiac arrest. For many years through community training, the International Training Centers of the American Heart Association in Colombia have laid the foundation that supported such an important decision.
It is also noteworthy that earlier this year, Panama enacted a similar law adding to others that already had regulations in the region such as Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina and more.