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Doctor’s heroic act in Davao Norte highlights need to implement law requiring mandatory CPR training 

 Dr. Monique Bantique Abad was having breakfast in their family store near the Carmen Public Transport Terminal in Davao del Norte when a rider got thrown off his motorcycle after it was hit by another motorcycle and was knocked unconscious. ,

A crowd of kibitzers immediately formed around the victim, with no one daring to lift a finger to help.

The 27-year-old physician, who was in rugged jeans and a shirt, saw the incident and, without saying a word, made a dash to the accident site. 

Onlookers tried to stop her from helping the victim, prompting her to assert, “Doctor ‘ko!” before telling the crowd to step back and give her space.

Abad then started to administer CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) to the man, intermittently stopping to check his pulse. She continued performing chest compressions on the victim until responders from the Carmen Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office arrived and took over.

Abad stayed on the scene until the victim started breathing again and was wheeled to a waiting ambulance that took him to a hospital, where he died from his injuries a few days later.

Her heroic deed did not go unnoticed, as a video clip of the moment was posted on Facebook and went viral on the first weekend of the year. (The video was later taken down.)

“Wala ko mag expect nga mag viral kay normal lang man to siya nga response. Naay emergency needing immediate response mao ra pud to akong gihimo (I never expected it to go viral because what I did was just a normal response. Someone needed an immediate response; that's what I did),” she told the Philippine Information Agency who tracked her down for an interview.

Dr. Monique Bantique Abad initiates CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on a victim of motorcycle accident. (Photo from vlogger Ariel Calising)

“Wala na nagkinahanglan nga maghunahuna gud, kung tabangan ba or dili, murag instinct na sya (There is no need to think about whether to help or not; it seems it was just an instinct).

“Para sa akoa normal lang naman to akong gibuhat; nganong daghang na amaze? (For  me, what I did was normal; why were some amazed?),”  she said as she dismissed the heroine tag that netizens gave her..

She noted that only a few people would offer help  during cases of vehicular accidents as the majority would cling to the notion that the patient should be left untouched. She also noted that many people believe that only certified responderss should aid road crash victims.

“Paabot lang sila walay gibuhat hangtod pag-abot sa hospital, usually DOA na, dead on arrival na. So wala nay nag-bridge nga help (They would just wait doing nothing, so when the patient reached the  hospital, he’s usually DOA, dead on arrival. So there was no attempt at bridging help),” she pointed out.

Dr. Monique Bantique Abad is assisting the Carmen Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRMMO) rescuer who takes over her in doing CPR on the victim. (Photo from vlogger Ariel Calising)

Abad explained that under similar circumstances, there is a crucial need to administer CPR to an unconscious patient as this can stimulate continuous blood circulation, otherwise the patient would die  right away.

However, she admitted that it takes a trained individual – not necessarily a medical professional – to perform CPR; 

Abad went on to appeal to her fellow medical professionals especially doctors and nurses or anyone who had training on CPR or Basic Life Support to go out their way to help when facing a similar situation.

“Ginatawag nako ang  ubang medical professional doctor nurses ug uban pa na kung maka engkwentro mo ug ingon ato nga  panghitabo, unta kamo motabang pud unta sa pacyente aron masumpayan ang ilang kinabuhi (I am calling on other medical professionals: doctors and nurses and others, when in situations such as that, you would be of help to the patient to lengthen their life),” she said.

No helmet

Carmen MDRRMO head Olympio G. Bagnol confirmed the death of the accident victim while undergoing treatment at the hospital.

Abad said the victim was not wearing a helmet when the accident happened.

“Si tatay, wala man gud pud to siya nag-helmet nag drive (He was not wearing a helmet,” she said referring to the victim.

Under Republic Act 10054 or the Motorcycle Helmet Act, riders and pillion passengers who travel on any form of roads or highways, whether it is a short trip or long, must wear a standard protective helmet. 

“Tungod sa akong nasinating pagresponde, ginatawagan nako ang tanang motorist na motuman sa  balaod sama sa pagsuot ug helmet sa mga naga motor,  mag seatbelt sa mga naka sakyanan. Magtuman sa tama na speed limit, ug sa  traffic rules and regulations (Due to what I experienced, I am calling on all motorcycle riders to abide by the law on wearing of helmet, wearing seatbelts for those in cars. Follow the right speed limits, and traffic rules and regulations),” Abad said. 

The incident also highlighted the rationale for the enactment of Republic Act 10871, otherwise known as the Samboy Lim Law,which was enacted in 2016. The law requires able-bodied citizens to be equipped with the necessary knowledge and basic skills to respond to certain health emergencies.

Dr. Monique Bantique Abad feels her instinct to help that had driven her to rush to the scene of a vehicular accident to administer CPR on the victim.

The law was named after the fate of the late basketball legend, who collapsed while playing in a pickup game. No one among his companions knew how to administer CPR. (JMDA/PIA Davao del Norte)

About the Author

Jeanevive Abangan

Deputy Regional Head

Region 11

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