Posted on 11/26/2011

OTTAWA--A 61-year-old man who collapsed on the ice during a hockey game Friday night was the fourth man in a week revived with an automatic external defibrillator by a bystander.

Dan Séguin, a sports journalist with CBC, was in net when his defenseman crumpled right in front of him.

“He just basically collapsed to the ice,” Séguin said Saturday. “When I looked at him, there was no response already and his ear was blue.”

The referee blew the whistle during the game Friday at the Kanata Recreation Complex and the scene became chaotic as players scrambled to help the man, Séguin said.

But off-duty firefighter Pat Aubrey, 51, saw that the 61-year-old defenseman had collapsed and immediately went to the man’s aid.

The man was breathing heavily and Aubrey thought he may have fainted. Aubrey said the man’s color began to change, his eyes rolled back into his head and his pulse faded.

Séguin looked on as his teammate’s condition worsened.

“I saw him take his last breath. He was trying to fight out a couple of breaths when he went down and he just took one big sigh and then stopped,” Séguin said. “By then, he was just bright blue.”

Aubrey yelled for a defibrillator, which he thought should have been closer to the ice. Other players began to take off the man’s hockey equipment and skates as Aubrey started CPR.

Séguin took over chest compression while Aubrey got the defibrillator ready. Aubrey delivered a shock using the defibrillator and started CPR again.

A police officer arrived at the arena and Aubrey debriefed him on the man’s condition while he continued chest compressions.

Soon, firefighters and paramedics arrived to the arena and took over patient care.

The man was conscious when he was taken to the hospital in serious condition.

The defenseman was the fourth cardiac arrest victim this week that bystanders helped save by performing CPR and using a defibrillator.

Last Saturday, an off-duty advanced care paramedic came to the aid of his 41-year-old friend who fell on the ice at the Minto Arena.

The opposing team’s goalie made a save when Bruce Binda, 49, noticed his friend was down on his knees.

Binda said his friend told him that he felt faint. The hockey player said he wasn’t having chest pains, but Binda said his friend’s pulse was fast and light just before he went into cardiac arrest.

Binda a lifted his friend’s jersey and began CPR while the paramedic’s brother ran to get a defibrillator.

Binda tried to use the defibrillator, but the pads weren’t sticking to his friend’s chest because of sweat from playing hockey.

Binda’s only choice was to continue chest compressions until paramedics arrived. He couldn’t help but think of his friend’s wife, seven-year-old boy and nine-year-old girl.

A paramedic first responder unit arrived and Binda used their defibrillator to shock his friend before a police officer took over CPR. The man was shocked twice more with the defibrillator.

Firefighters took over chest compressions and paramedics began to give the man drugs.

The man soon regained consciousness and was alert when he was taken to the hospital.

In the ambulance, the man heard the paramedics calling the hospital to alert them that a 35-year-old cardiac arrest patient was on the way. The man piped up to inform the paramedics that he was actually 41 years old.

“I was quite relieved because you never know once you leave if they’re going to go back into cardiac arrest,” said Binda, who has been a paramedic for 21 years.

Binda said when he went to visit his friend the next day, a touching moment in the hospital room deeply affected the veteran paramedic.

His friend’s seven-year-old son shook his hand and thanked him for saving his father’s life.

“I had to leave because I was sure my emotional side was going to get to me,” Binda said.

In another cardiac arrest case on Thursday, a bystander at an Ottawa tennis club helped save a 79-year-old man.

A paramedic communications officer guided the caller through CPR and using a defibrillator.

When advanced-care paramedics arrived, the man regained a pulse. He was taken to hospital in serious condition.

The fourth case of the week involved a 66-year-old man at the RCMP Curling Rink Tuesday.

The man regained a pulse after a bystander gave him CPR and used a defibrillator.

Paramedics intubated the man and gave him medication before he was taken to hospital in serious condition.

The four cases of cardiac arrest this week highlighted the need for defibrillators, said Jocelyn Marciano, who is in charge of the public access defibrillation program.

Paramedics can take up to 10 minutes to arrive to a cardiac arrest call, Marciano said.

“That’s too late for sudden cardiac arrest,” Marciano said. “We need bystanders to start CPR right away and apply the (defibrillator) until we get there.”

Marciano said there are roughly 700 defibrillators across the city in arenas, community centres, library, police cars and fire trucks.

The public access defibrillation program began in 2001 with more than 340 devices stationed at various locations across the city.

SOURCE: The Ottawa Citizen