Archive for July, 2011

First Responder Saves Teen in School

Posted by cocreator on July 28, 2011
Events / No Comments

A sixth former was so distraught about being given her first detention that she collapsed and had a heart attack.

Tabatha McElligott, then 17, was caught by a teacher after sneaking out of school with friends to buy chocolate.

Steve Hockley the Saviour & Tabatha McElligott the Survivor

We never thought anyone would miss us. We were on the way back to school when we heard the fire bell ringing and we ran back,’ said Tabatha, from Leigh-on-Sea.

And her fear caused an undiagnosed rare heart condition to kick in.

‘When we got to the gates I could hear my teacher calling my name and my heart started hammering.

‘She began to tell us off but my heart just kept beating harder and harder and her voice sounded really distant.

‘I felt my legs turning to jelly and then everything went black.’

Teachers dialled 999 and an emergency first aider arrived at Westcliff High School for Girls in Essex within three minutes.

He was able to restart her heart in the playground with a defibrillator before an ambulance arrived.

Doctors discovered that Miss McElligott, from Leigh-on-Sea, was born with ‘anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery’, which could have killed her at any time. The congenital condition causes her body to pump blood around her heart the wrong way.

‘I know now my heart was a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.

‘In a strange way, I’m actually incredibly lucky I had a heart attack when I got shouted at. There was someone there who could help me.

‘I could easily have been left brain damaged or even dead if my heart had stopped for longer.’

After open heart surgery, she is now able to lead a normal life, simply taking beta blockers daily to slow her heart rate and aspirin to thin her blood.

Now 19, she has even trained as an emergency first aider to help others.

She added: ‘Since recovering, I have trained as an emergency responder, so I can carry my own defibrillator and be first on the scene if an emergency happens near me.

‘I’ve now made it my mission to ensure all young people are taught CPR, and as many as possible train to become emergency responders. It might just save a life.’

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Doctor Saves Cricketer during Game

Posted by cocreator on July 28, 2011
Events / 1 Comment

A man who had a heart attack while playing cricket was revived by a ‘hero’ GP teammate who had a defibrillator in his car.

Mr Harry Parkinm,a 49-year-old businessman, was playing for a doctors’ team at Budleigh Salterton Cricket Club in Devon yesterday afternoon.

He suffered a serious heart attack near the start of the match in front of a crowd of several people, including two of his own children.

Treasurer John Eggleton added: ‘When he initially fell down, I don’t think people realised what was going on and it took a few seconds to sink in that something was very wrong.’

As the man was unconscious and lying on the pitch, one of the doctors, Dr Richard Mejzner, a GP at Budleigh Salterton Medical Centre ran to his car for the defibrillator and treated the man where he lay.

The Devon Air Ambulance was called and landed on the pitch. The man was flown to the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital.

The match, against a cricket team from the town’s football club, was being played in Budleigh’s community league.

Cricket club secretary Kevin Curran said he thought the man was lucky to be alive.

‘He is a well-known member of the community who does an awful lot for the club and everyone was completely shocked when this happened,’ he said.

‘The match had only just begun and he was nowhere near the ball when he collapsed.

‘It was extremely fortunate there were a number of doctors around and one had this piece of equipment in his car – he may well have saved his life.

‘The very quick action of the doctor involved, who is a bit of a hero I guess in that respect – but he’d only say he was doing his natural job – his quick action has meant that our friend and colleague has got another opportunity, as it were.

‘We’re all just delighted to hear today that he is making progress, and is obviously still in hospital and having tests, but he’s in the right place and getting the right medical attention.’

Mr Curran said the club will now look at buying a defibrillator and training members in how to use it.

‘We have all the basic medical equipment but this incident has highlighted just how important defibrillators are,’ he said. ‘For a relatively small outlay we could have a piece of kit that can save lives.’

The doctor who came to his assistance is thought to be a GP who works at a surgery in the town.

The match was abandoned after the incident.

Mr Curran said the club may also want to support the air ambulance trust. ‘It is a remarkable charity that is always in need of money,’ he said.

‘I am sure that when the dust settles the committee will want to show our support for it.’

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iPhone app ShowNearby AED to Locate & Geotag AED Locations

Posted by cocreator on July 26, 2011
Updates / 1 Comment

Updates : We are currently fixing a bug in our app. Please be patient with us. Thank you.

Check out the screenshots below.

iOS-Shownearby-AED-1.jpg http://www.firstaidcorps.org/wp-content/iOS-Shownearby-AED-2.jpg
iOS-Shownearby-AED-3.jpg iOS-Shownearby-AED-4.jpg

PS : We have apps for other smartphones. Check them out.

Disclaimer : As public-accessed AEDs are prone to abuse, availability of AEDs is not guaranteed.

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Colleagues Save Employee at Work

Posted by cocreator on July 23, 2011
Events / No Comments

A local company honored some of its employees on Friday for their efforts in saving a co-worker’s life.


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Back in May, one of the employees at ECR International suffered a heart attack in the Customer Service Department. A signal code red alerted other employees in the building who are trained as first responders and the employee’s pulse was restored with an automated external defibrillator.

Director of Human Resources Johnita DeMatteo says the incident was life changing for all involved.

“I was really very concerned about the employee, hoping that he was going to be okay,” DeMatteo said. “I just did what I had to do. I really didn’t think about it. Your adrenaline kicks in and you just do what you have to do.”

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Paramedic Save Tennis Player during Match

Posted by cocreator on July 23, 2011
Events / No Comments

It was a singles tennis match on April 23 between the Fountain Grove Athletic Club’s men’s tennis team of Santa Rosa and the Petaluma Valley Athletic Club’s men’s team that brought Regal Wine Company vice president 39-year-old Marcelo Aguero of Windsor and paramedic/fire engineer Tony Giacomini to the PVA courts that day.


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“I remember warming up,” said Aguero. “I felt like a champ that day. I didn’t have any symptoms. But at 3:30 p.m., it was pretty much lights out.”

Tony Giacomini the Saviour (left) with Marcelo Aguero the Survivor

Giacomini was leading Aguero by one game in their tennis match when Aguero collapsed.

“He came in for the ball, hit it and it went out of bounds,” said Giacomini, a Petaluma resident. “I went to get the ball and I heard him fall. When I turned around I saw him face down on the ground.”

He ran over to Aguero to check his breathing and immediately started CPR. Giacomini’s wife, who had seen the incident, rushed to get the portable automated external defibrillator, which PVAC keeps on the premises.

“I got CPR and defibrillation twice, once from Giacomini and once from responding paramedics,” said Aguero. “But I had no heartbeat for 20 minutes. On the way to Petaluma Valley Hospital, two minutes before arrival at the emergency room, they finally got a heartbeat.”

The whole incident came as a shock, since Aguero has no history of heart problems. He said he even had a physical just two months before having a heart attack.

Once in the ER, Dr. Rick Tietz diagnosed Aguero with sudden cardiac arrest, caused by ventricular fibrillation, which is a severely abnormal heart rhythm that interferes with the normal pumping by the heart of blood, thereby cutting off blood flow to the brain and other vital organs. According to a study by the National Institute of Health, the survival rate of ventricular fibrillation outside the hospital ranges from 2 percent to 25 percent.

“Giacomini starting the defibrillator immediately was key,” said Tietz.

Primary nurse Ben Schneider and his co-workers in the ER were able to stabilize Aguero for transfer to the ICU, where he was put into a state of induced hypothermia, cooling down his body temperature to preserve neurological function. All the while, his wife, Dana Aguero, and the medical team remained uncertain as to how much damage may have been caused to his brain during the heart attack.

The following day, medical staff began the process of warming Aguero’s body back to normal. Dana was warned it could be up to 48 hours before her husband would show any signs of responsiveness.

“Yet, literally, they warmed him up a half of a degree and he started to wake up and was moving his toes and moving his hands and shaking his head up and down in response to my questions,” said Dana. “It was honestly a miracle.”

Aguero was transferred to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital on April 25, and regained full consciousness the following morning. At Memorial’s Heart and Vascular Institute, Aguero received an implantable defibrillator to regulate his heart rhythm. He was released from the hospital on May 3 and has since gone back to work. He suffered no brain damage from the heart attack and said he feels good and healthy. He’s also playing tennis again. But he has not forgotten everyone who played a part in saving his life that day on the tennis court.

Aguero and his wife returned to Petaluma Valley Hospital on July 14 for a reunion with many of the people involved with saving his life, including Giacomini, Tietz, Schneider and ICU nurses Cindy Lohrentz and Jean Marie Zak-Mangon. The group was all smiles and applause as a grateful and healthy looking Aguero walked up to the ER doors to greet staff.

“I’m grateful for all you did for me,” said Aguero to the PVH medical team. “You saved my life.”

Aguero added that he’s making it his mission to tell people the importance of getting CPR training and AED training, and that AEDs need to be available in more public places.

“It was a very traumatic experience for my wife, and she speaks volumes about how everyone in Petaluma responded. The emergency responders and staff at PVH were amazing. I know of probably 50 people who have learned CPR and AED training because of this case and the difference it can make. Without CPR, I probably wouldn’t be sitting at my desk working today.”

“Every moment of that day, he just happened to be in the right place at the right time,” said Dana. “There definitely was someone looking out for him.”

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