the Argentine who wants to break a record with Instagram to save thousands of lives

In the midst of the pandemic, hung up the gloves of the “hippie tip” for low cost travelers and transformed its content towards disclosure on health issues. The influencer Ignacio de Asua is the ex @unhippieconosdea globetrotting Argentinian doctor who has now moved to the @doctorgrammer account and gives first aid courses. The last one, on Instagram Live, focused on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and brought together more than 10,000 people.

A true milestone, although “it does not compete with the live of the celebrities”, he clarifies. “These trainings are usually relatively expensive and, being done in person, they have capacity for a maximum of 20 people, there are no precedents for such a large training,” she says. The most attended CPR course in Argentine history? “Yes, confirmed,” De Asua will say.

This Sunday at 6:00 p.m. the 37-year-old doctor seeks to repeat and exceed success: he will carry out the third edition of the course through his Instagram account. Totally free like the previous two, it will have the collaboration of a CPR instructor nurse and high-fidelity simulator dolls to make the exhibition better. What’s more, will teach maneuvers in cases of suffocation.

The last CPR course at Ignacio de Asua brought together more than 10,000 people.

“The potential of social networks in health is immense”he tells Clarin. It is enough to read some messages that he receives from users on a daily basis: “Days after taking the course, I was playing with my 11-month-old baby. I turned around for a second to answer a WhatsApp and suddenly he was choking on a coin. Fortunately, I remembered the maneuvers and everything went well. It was the worst moment of my life.”

The Argentine doctor, who completed primary school in the US city of Boston, and also lived in Germany, is a specialist in Internal Medicine (CEMIC) and in Intensive Care (Oxford University), and has worked in countries such as New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. United.

“In these countries, something of every day was to receive a patient in heart attack. The paramedics or the nurses would bring him in and they had already done CPR and resuscitated him, and in the hospital one was in charge of advanced care. But speaking with different emergency physicians and intensive care doctors in Buenos Aires, I began to see what this type of patients almost do not arrive in Argentina“, bill.

The thing is “Unfortunately they did not survive the event, until being rescued by an ambulance”, explains the doctor. The statistics he found alarmed him. “While in the United States the global survival rate for cardiac arrest is 35%, in Argentina, that figure would be in the order of 1% or 2%. And that’s an optimistic number.”

“I think it is important that people have the best tools to help others and generate a better chance of survival to an event like this”, said the doctor. In Argentina, the Law 26,835, sanctioned in 2012establishes the obligation to include the learning of techniques of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in secondary schools, but little is done.

After living for seven years in London, where he was an intensive care doctor at the prestigious Heartlands Hospital, De Asua moved to Santiago de Chile, where he works in the same role, in addition to serve patients from all over the world by telemedicine.

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A post shared by Ignacio De Asua (@doctorgrammer)

De Asua became known in July 2018, when he opened her first Instagram account @unhippieconosde, which had to do with travel tips, tips for getting cheap flights, how to plan a budget and travel photography. In a few months, he had already exceeded 30 thousand followers. It was something like his escape to cope with the drama which may involve intensive therapy.

Some did not understand. “Ignacio, don’t you think your account is a bit childish for a doctor of your age and career?” They asked him one day and Da Ansua explained: “Today morning I told a mother that her 15-year-old son died, I opened the chest of an injured person and treated three heart attacks. If I don’t play a little outside of work… I’ll end up in a mental hospital.“.

But the pandemic changed everything. “Air traffic fell by 70%, people focused more on national or regional tourism, or stayed at home. And at that moment I thought there was a need for dissemination of medical information. There was a lot of anguish and expectation, people were looking for reliable sources and little by little I began to share my day to day, how I lived through the pandemic as a doctor, what I was facing in the hospital, ”he says.

He also talked about scientific news, the different vaccines, the treatments for the coronavirus, what were the characteristics of the different strains that were appearing, what was the impact on the hospital system, what to expect and what to do. “And so the content like this was focusing on the medical”remember.

“I think that as a doctor the social network can amplify the message. What you say to one person in an office can reach tens of thousands of people. And it is something that we are just beginning to discover, ”she reflects and proposes as an example breast implant disease. “After the instagramers and youtubers talked, the issue began to climb positions on the public agendato the point that today when a person already consults the plastic surgeon”.

In England.  From there, Ignacio de Asua opened the account @unhippieconosde.

In England. From there, Ignacio de Asua opened the account @unhippieconosde.

Another case was that of long Covid. “The set of sequels that remain after Covid was described thanks to Twitter users who commented that they had already been cured, but their hair fell out, they had trouble sleeping or they were always tired,” he says.

“The potential is inexhaustible also to connect doctors, patients and communities, especially when it comes to rare diseases. Somebody out there has a relative with a symptom and they can’t find the cause, and a specialist tells him this is such a thing, send me the patient. If used for good, networks can be spectacular.