BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – As part of its ongoing mandate to build out a more robust healthcare sector, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis continues to invest in modern lifesaving equipment that is necessary in helping to transform Basseterre into the first ‘4-minute city’ in the region.
A 4-minute city refers to a program whereby everyday citizens are given the tools to offer victims of cardiac arrest lifesaving help using automated external defibrillators [AEDs] within four minutes of collapse. This treatment is offered before emergency medical services (EMS) arrive and can significantly increase a person’s chances of survival.
During the Monday, October 30, 2023, sitting of the National Assembly, Prime Minister and Minister of Health, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew said the build-out towards transforming Basseterre into a 4-minute city commenced with the procurement of a new CT scan machine.
“The Government has bought a brand-new CT scan machine, a 128 slice. I know that Nevis already has a 128-slice CT scan, so in the space of St. Kitts and Nevis we would have two very modern CT scan machines,” said Prime Minister Dr. Drew.
The prime minister said, “We know that heart disease is one of the leading causes of death here in St. Kitts and Nevis and this machine would help us to detect critical cases and be able to intervene with the necessary treatment. The reason we have done this is that we are now in the process of creating a cath lab [catheterization laboratory]. So, we are partnering with a number of countries and developers, and I want to thank Dr. Laws, a cardiologist, who is actually helping us to build this out. We are hoping to have that cath lab built and sent to St. Kitts and Nevis … so that we can create what you call a 4-minute city. What we mean by a 4-minute city is that if you have chest pain anywhere in Basseterre, we should be able to get you care within four minutes.”
A catheterization lab is an examination room in a hospital, clinic, or diagnostic center where several types of tests and procedures are performed.
The prime minister said the Government’s build-out of the ‘4-minute city’ would include a robust educational campaign drive with businesses and the general public in the near future.
He said, “We are also going to have AEDs [automated external defibrillators] to resuscitate the heart. So, if someone were to collapse in [the National Assembly], those who work here should know how to work that machine. It is only about an hour of training it takes for us to do that, and so we want to be the first 4-minute city in the Caribbean and so we are building towards that.”
“This would say to our tourists who come here that if anything were to happen to you, within four minutes you have the best chance of survival,” Prime Minister Drew added.
Dr. Drew said the intention is to introduce this system in Basseterre and on Nevis as well.