Dr. Sohah Iqbal is the current president of the American Heart Association Young Professionals, an Interventional Cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, and a staunch advocate for CPR education in our city's high schools.
Dr. Iqbal poignantly shares the story of two of her own patients who both presented with a cardiac arrest at their gyms. Both were under that age of 50, both were generally active but mildly overweight. Neither patient smoked nor saw a doctor regularly. Both were brought to the hospital by EMTs where Dr Iqbal was able to open up the blocked arteries to stop the damage to the heart. However, this is where the similarities stopped. One of the patients left the hospital alive a few weeks later and the other never woke up from the coma after his cardiac arrest, even though his heart was fixed. The difference is that the patient that lived had CPR initiated right away by another person working out at the gym while the other did not. He had to wait until EMTa arrived to start CPR, and by then it was too late.
Dr. Iqbal loves her job but the hardest thing is knowing the most crucial minutes happen before she ever sees the patient. Knowing that more New Yorkers need to learn how to do CPR so she can save more lives as a cardiologist, she is asking Commissioner John King of the NY State Education Department to recommend this curriculum standard for every high school across the state!
Photo: Dr. Iqbal at the Statehouse in Albany for the AHA's CPR Rally (June 2014).