Archive - Oct 2011 - Blog entry

Archive - Oct 2011 - Blog entry

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October 25th

Bystander CPR, AED Help Save Man At Mass. YMCA


Dan Grecoe celebrated his 43rd birthday last week, and he credits three alert bystanders and a defibrillator with helping him reach the date.

Oct. 25--ANDOVER -- Dan Grecoe celebrated his 43rd birthday last week, and he credits three alert bystanders and a defibrillator with helping him reach the date.

Grecoe, an Andover resident who lives with his wife Lisa and three daughters, went into sudden cardiac arrest on the morning of Sept. 19 while exercising at the Andover/North Andover YMCA.

For about 10 minutes, retired Andover firefighter Richard Hartman and school nurse Rita Casper worked together to perform CPR on Grecoe while YMCA employee Maura Eisenhood used an automatic external defibrillator to help him survive while the paramedics were en route.

October 24th

EMT student assists on life-saving emergency call

[from the Franklin News-Post]
Monday, October 24, 2011

A Franklin County High School Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) student recently had a life-changing experience when she played a role in saving the life of a heart-attack victim.

Brittany Cook, 16, was at the Franklin County Department of Public Safety office in a study session with instructor Eric Newman when he received a "patient down" call.

Cook went with Newman to the scene of the emergency, where Dr. Charles Lane, medical director; Sherry Lane, a registered nurse and EMT; Tom Firebaugh, an EMT; and Ron Gearheart, Michael Pruitt and John Scott, paramedics, were performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the patient.

Several minutes into the resuscitation attempt, the patient regained a pulse and started breathing on his own, according to Newman. The patient was then transported to the hospital for treatment and later released, Newman said.

October 13th

Canadian Doctors Speak Up

Emergency-room doctors say bystanders are morally obligated to perform chest compressions on cardiac arrest victims - whether or not they have been properly trained in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation - and CPR must be considered a “life skill” for all Canadians.

Representatives of the Canadian Association of Emergency Room Physicians (CAEP) told a news conference on Thursday that too many cardiac arrest victims are dying because the person beside them doesn’t know what to do, and is afraid to act.

“It must become a moral obligation and a social expectation that bystanders will perform CPR when they witness a cardiac arrest,” the doctors said in a position statement released to reporters. “The general population must come to understand that cardiac resuscitation is much more likely to be successful when CPR is started promptly, and the victims of cardiac arrest will almost certainly die if lay witnesses do not intervene.”

October 12th

Close call on school field carries lesson

October 11, 2011 | 3:00 p.m.

Lessons can be learned from tragic events. In Baltimore County, we are fortunate that recently lessons have emerged, but a tragedy was averted.

Fast action and the fortunate presence of expertise combined on Sept. 27 to save the life of a teenager who went into cardiac arrest on an athletic field at Catonsville High School.

Breanna Sudano, a freshman on the Perry Hall High School junior varsity field hockey team, collapsed at the conclusion of a game at Catonsville High.

Among those present who were able to respond quickly to the emergency were two coaches and three nurses — one of them a cardiac nurse. They worked as a team to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Almost unquestionably, they saved this young athlete's life. They kept her pulse going until paramedics arrived and gave the girl an electric shock from an automated external defibrillator, which boosted her heartbeat.

It's either sloppy reporting or really tragic.

A math teacher at East Central High School died Monday morning after collapsing before classes started, officials said.

Melinda Villegas, 23, a full-time math teacher for all grades at the high school, was with colleagues, who “immediately started assisting her and went to get our school nurse's assistant to administer CPR,” said Stevie Gonzales, an East Central Independent School District spokeswoman.

“EMS continued the CPR in transporting her to Mission Trail Baptist Hospital,” where she was pronounced dead around 8 a.m., Gonzales said.

Read more:


[note: the death is tragic enough, but there may be even more reason to wring our hands and scream:

October 8th

About half...

...of the people interviewed in 2007 know or were able to guess the difference between a sudden cardiac arrest and a heart attack.

When the score is that close to 50/50, usually folks are guessing.

It's important because immediate 911 and CPR. plus prompt defibrillation are essential to cardiac arrest survival with major brain function intact, and 911 is essential for a heart attack. The defibrillator won't hurt the heart attack victim, but CPR would be inappropriate and dangerous.

Fortunately, they are easy to tell apart, once you've been told the difference: The sudden cardiac arrest victim - the one that needs 911 + CPR + AED - is non-responsive and not breathing, either normally or at all.

If you are not trained, check the video at and then get the people whom you frequently are near trained, too.

October 4th

Shock, sorrow after teen cheerleader's death in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES — When students returned for school Monday morning at Washington Prep, they were to be greeted by crisis counselors and missing one of their beloved classmates, a cheerleader who died after collapsing during a football game.

Angela Gettis, a 16-year-old sophomore at the school, was rallying the crowd Friday night in the fourth quarter of a tie game at Fremont High School when she suffered an apparent cardiac arrest, Los Angeles Unified School District spokesman Tom Waldman said.

The game stopped as coaches and trainers ran to help. Bystanders performed CPR while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

Gettis died about three hours later at a hospital, becoming the second teenage girl from Los Angeles district schools to die over the weekend after a dramatic campus incident.

School officials planned to discuss Gettis at a Monday morning news conference.

[Question: was there an AED there, and was it used? rht]

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