Paramedic Save Tennis Player during Match

Posted by cocreator on July 23, 2011
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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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Health Club Employees Save Tennis Player

Posted by cocreator on March 17, 2010
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I am a manager at ClubSport Fremont. We are a high-end fitness resort located just off I-880. We have about 6,000 members and 230 employees. On March 5, for about 30 minutes, our management team was in crisis mode because of a fallen member.

A code 50 was called to a tennis court for a dizzy member.

As I arrived on the scene, the member was laying on the bench and looked disoriented. I told another employee to call 911.

Just as we had got a towel for his head, he started to grab his chest, started moaning, turning purple and his legs and arms seemed to lock up. He was having a heart attack.

I yelled to another employee to run and grab the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) unit, while another employee handed me the CPR mask. I pulled off his shirt as another manager arrived.

The member’s eyes had rolled back in his head and he was motionless. I was very scared.

One employee began chest compressions while I alternated with CPR breathing.

The AED unit arrived and we set it up to use. The system said “shock advised,” and “step away from the patient.” Another employee pressed the button and we shocked the member. His chest literally lifted off the ground and his heart started beating again, but his breathing was shallow and soon disappeared.

We started compressions and CPR breathing again. After a few minutes that seemed like an eternity, the AED unit said “shock advised” again.

Another manager and I looked at each other and did what the AED said to do — we shocked him again. His body again lifted off the bench and his heart started beating. Once again, though, his breathing fell to nothing.

We started compressions and breathing again. I thought our member and friend was going to die right there on that bench.

The most amazing part was every time we shocked him and his heart started beating again and his breathing came back, the 10 or so tennis members started yelling to him, “Don’t give up!” “C’mon J, you can do it!” His wife, who had arrived on the scene, yelled to him “Don’t leave me, J! Don’t leave me!” It was almost like he heard them.

We started CPR yet again, and just as I felt like I was running out of breath, I looked up and saw walking toward us, America’s finest — the Fremont Fire Department.

We all moved out of the way and let them take over. They stabilized the member and later told us that had we not taken action, the member surely would have died on the tennis court.

He was taken to Washington Hospital and is going to be fine.

Self account by Mr Tony Young of Fremont. He has been employed by Leisure Sports, Inc., at ClubSport Fremont. He has been a manager at the Fremont property for 14 years.

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2 Friends Save Elder Man during Tennis Game

Posted by cocreator on November 21, 2009
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Half an hour into a tennis set Tuesday morning, Nov. 3, Ray Schami,72 , began to lean over, bracing his hands on his thighs, then fell to the ground.

Ray Schami (center) the Survivor

Ray Schami (center) the Survivor

“He was gasping,” said Ron Kydd, 67. “And [his breathing] wasn’t regular. It was sort of one big gasp and then something and then nothing. Nothing.”

John Stevenson, 72, dashed for his phone and called 9-1-1, and he and Kydd rolled Schami onto his back and started doing CPR, trading off between them.

Kydd said that he’d done his training a few years ago and was able to remember the counting for the breaths and chest compressions. And Stevenson says that as a fitness instructor and personal trainer, he has done CPR training pretty regularly over the last decade or so.

“After a few minutes, when it was obvious that Ray’s pulse was weak if it was present at all — it was so hard to tell, because we’re panicking — I went out to the car while John continued the CPR, and I got the defibrillator that my wife and I carry in the car,” Kydd said. “We carry it because we live in Roberts Creek and it’s 15 minutes from an ambulance, if you’re lucky.”

“The first thing it says is, ‘Be calm.’ Well, no chance of that,” Kydd said wryly. “And then it tells you to check the airways and the various steps you’re supposed to do, including attaching the pads to the person’s chest, which I did. And then it analyzes. It says, ‘Analyzing, analyzing.’ And then it said, ‘Shock recommended,’ and ‘Stand back.’ And so at that time I pushed the button and gave the shock.”

Kydd administered two separate shocks, between rounds of CPR, and then paramedics and firefighters arrived and continued working on Schami.

Paramedics took Schami to St. Mary’s Hospital until he could be transferred by helicopter to St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, where he was put in a medically-induced coma for 24 hours. He had a defibrillator implanted and was released from hospital Saturday, Nov. 14.

Now, he says, he’s still feeling weak, but is counting his blessings that his heart attack happened in the right place, near the right people.

“I live alone so I could have been alone and had this heart attack and have been found a week or so later by neighbours,” he said. “[My children] would have been concerned [when they hadn’t heard from me as usual] and my neighbours would have walked in to find me dead.”

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Centre Staff & Others Save Tennis Player

Posted by cocreator on November 03, 2009
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Michael Savitt remembers no pain — only a tennis match, that he never got to finish.

“I was serving,” he said. “It was a very long game. All of a sudden I felt really tired and sat down on the court. That was the last thing.”

“He basically collapsed, passed out,” said Jason Powless, of Michael.

Powless, other staff and players grabbed the on-site AED, or automated external defibrillator.

“The machine told us to clear out of the way, and you have to press a button to shock, and yeah, you get off the ground a little bit,” Powless said.

The crew of Madison Fire Department Engine 7 was first to arrive at the facility.

“It was definitely life-saving,” said firefighter Mindy Dessert.

Dessert asked Powless to use the AED to administer a second shock to the downed player.

“I was at the head and what I saw as the changes in him, went from when I got there, didn’t look so good,” Dessert said. “I saw his eyes change and I saw that he was alive and he was talking.”

“We all just kind of work as a team and help each other, and it was great. Jason did a great job today,” said Dessert.

As soon as the hospital gave the okay, Michael called Jason on the phone.

“I just wanted to thank him for saving my life, and all the other people who helped.”

Powless, however, is humble about the role that he played.

“It was more the machine and all of us working together,” he said. “But to be able to talk to him on the phone this evening and know that he’s doing well and that I’m going to be able to see him again, that’s pretty great. Pretty neat.”

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Club Staff & Doctors Save Man during Tennis Game

Posted by cocreator on October 07, 2009
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Shortly after 10 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24, Rothenberg began feeling faint while playing tennis with his friends at the Mercer Island Country Club.

Eric Rothenberg (centre) the Survivor

Eric Rothenberg (centre) the Survivor

Not knowing what was wrong, the 42-year-old got down onto his knees. And then he collapsed.

Rothenberg’s tennis partners immediately yelled for someone to call 911.

Within seconds, two MICC members, both of whom happened to be doctors, were at Rothenberg’s side administering CPR. Minutes later, they were using the MICC defibrillator to jump-start the man’s heart.

The EMT team had yet to arrive. When they did, Rothenberg’s pulse was already beating again.

Rothenberg, who is feeling healthy and active today, only a week after the cardiac arrest, said his rescue was a miracle.

“The fact that those two doctors were there, and the defibrillator, are the reasons I survived. If I had been anywhere else, it would have been too late,” Rothenberg said.

Dr. Alan Geltzer, one of the two doctors to respond to Rothenberg, agreed.

“There were a lot of things that came together to save his life. There were lots of people around, and those involved were able to jump on things and get things going,” Geltzer said, adding that the fact that MICC had a defibrillator was essential. “There’s no question, the defibrillator and CPR kept Eric alive. It’s tremendous that the Country Club has one.”

It took Bellevue paramedics nearly 10 minutes to arrive at the South-end Country Club with an ambulance. Geltzer and Dr. Niraj Patel were administering CPR to Rothenberg within seconds.

A few days after the emergency, Rothenberg was back at home with his two sons and wife, Edith. He suffered no brain damage and now carries an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) near his heart to detect any further episodes of cardiac arrhythmia.

“It’s hard to articulate. It makes me not only appreciate the people who were there to help, but the Mercer Island community. Even people I don’t know have offered their support and prayers,” Rothenberg said. “It’s like looking at my kids and my family, and having a greater appreciation for life.”

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