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Fundación MAPFRE, the Spanish Federation of Chefs and Bakers, DYA GIPUZKOA and SEMES present the campaign “SOS RESPIRA” [SOS BREATHE]

 Volunteers from DYA GIPUZKOA will provide basic training at cafés, bars and restaurants, with special emphasis on cider bars.

 The objective is to reducethe number of deaths caused by obstruction of the airway, which can be avoided by applying some simple techniques.

Around 100 die each year in the Basque Country (2,000 in Spain) due to choking, which mainly occurs when food or another object becomes accidentally trapped in airways, preventing air from reaching the lungs and causing asphyxiation.

Most of these obstructions are not serious, but others can lead to cardio-respiratory failure owing to a lack of oxygen followed by death. “Acting in time can save many lives”.

That was stated by, Iñigo Lavado who presented the «SOS BREATHE» campaign in Irun, which he promotes in conjunction with Fundación MAPFRE and the Spanish Society for Medical Emergencies (SEMES).

The aim of this initiative is to inform people about how to act when somebody is choking, and thus contribute to catering establishments being safer places with regards to accidents of this type. To date the campaign has reached 7,000 establishments and 25,000 people throughout Spain.

The organizers have carried out this campaign in over 500 establishments, with special emphasis on cider bars in the Basque Country. Nuria Sánchez, Director of the DYA GIPUZKOA Training School pointed out that on their visits the volunteer experts «teach staff how to act quickly and effectively in the event of choking using the Heimlich Maneuver».

Dr. Patxi Ezponda, President of Ekalme – SEMES Euskadi, also put across the message that if the victim can make sounds and cough heavily, it is a small obstruction, in which case the victim should only be encouraged to cough heavily. If the victim cannot breath or make sounds, or if they can only cough weakly or not at all, and their skin starts to turn blue, we should call the emergency services on 112 and start the Heimlich Maneuver, which consists of applying pressure to the victim’s abdomen who is coughing while holding on from behind.

Oscar Picazo also took part at the event, coordinator from Fundación MAPFRE of the SOS Breathe campaign, who presented the mobile APP SOS-Respira, whose objective is for everybody to learn how to use the Heimlich Maneuver via video and text. “In just a few minutes, anybody can learn how to act in cases of choking”, he added.

 You can download the APP from: www.sosrespira.org

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