Thai monks perform roadside CPR on severely injured motorcyclist (VIDEO)

Photo: Facebook./ Boonmee Chai Wanaram temple
Photo: Facebook./ Boonmee Chai Wanaram temple

A group of monks from Nakhon Ratchasima province has gone viral after footage of them performing CPR on a severely injured motorcyclist — coincidentally on the way back to their temple from first aid training — was posted on Facebook.

Coconuts Bangkok yesterday reached out to one of the hero monks at Boonmee Chai Wanaram temple for a detailed account of Tuesday’s afternoon attempted roadside rescue in Wang Nam Khiao District.  

The monks had just received CPR training held by the Emergency Medical Foundation of Thailand earlier that day, never imagining they’d have a chance to practice their new skills so soon.

Some of the monks that participated in the rescue -- Photo: Sanook
Some of the monks that participated in the rescue — Photo: Sanook

“We were on our way back to the temple from our annual CPR and Automated External Defibrillators (AED) training, when we stumbled upon the accident,” Phra Supachoke Apatcharo, Boonmee Chai Wanaram temple’s abbot, said in a phone interview yesterday afternoon.

Upon their arrival, the paramedics had not yet arrived and about 10 villagers were gathered around the two victims. While one was not severely injured, the other, who had been propelled into the roadside canal, was in critical condition.

“The villagers suspected that he [the second victim] was already dead, for he was lying face-up, unmoved for about 20 minutes,” Supachoke recalled.

“But I could feel a slight pulse, so I couldn’t just give up on him. We thought the sliver of a chance was worth enough of a shot,” he said in explaining the monks’ decision to immediately attend to the injured men.

The monks, reportedly, divided up the responsibilities and took turns attending to the man in critical condition. One monk would perform chest compressions, while another performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Another monk massaged his legs and arms to make sure his blood was circulating.  

Realizing they needed professional help, Supachoke called up the National Emergency Medical Response Team that had just led their training, to bring an AED machine, before the five monks carried the victim to the road from the canal.

The video that went viral shows the monks collaborating with the response team to help revive the casualty. The abbot, Phra Supachoke. is the monk performing the chest compression in the clip. 

Sadly, all their efforts were ultimately for naught as the man died at the scene.

The monks yesterday expressed their deep condolences for the victim and relayed a warning for all citizens to “please be careful on the road.”

The annual first aid training for monks, which began on Monday and wrapped today, is part of a Ministry of Public Health and National Office of Buddhism project to increase the roles of monks in the local community by teaching them to provide medical services. Some 100 monks and novices were expected to go through the training this week.

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