Last August, Tim Watson thought it might be a good idea to have a CPR class taught at Kool-Stop, the high-tech Lake Oswego bicycle brake company where he works as vice president. He also bought an AED in December – a sort of ounce-of-prevention Christmas present to company employees.
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But little did Watson realize that by late January, training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation would save the life of a 16-year employee.
“We trained all employees in August because we thought it was a good thing to know,” Watson said. “But we never imagined we would have to use our skills so soon.”
On Jan. 20, Kool-Stop employees found Aleksandr Ovanesyants, 55, of Beaverton lying on the floor. He had stopped breathing and had no pulse at all. Following their training, the employees attached the automated external defibrillator and waited for the machine to tell them what to do.
But because Ovanesyants’ heart had completely stopped, the AED did not advise the employees to administer a shock. So, employees began performing CPR, exactly as they had been taught, giving Ovanesyants rhythmic chest compressions while someone called for help. Arriving firefighters confirmed that his heart had stopped.
“When I walked in the door, I had real concerns that we would not be able to bring Aleksandr back,” said Battalion Chief Jim Doane of the Lake Oswego Fire Department. “Having what we call a ‘flat line’ when we get there are not good odds of survival.”
But after a little while, Ovanesyants suddenly began breathing again. He was rushed to the hospital and was discharged after several days, with a new lease on life.
On Feb. 19, the Lake Oswego Fire Department presented Kool-Stop employees with Community Service Awards for saving Ovaneysants’ life.
Ovaneysants’ wife, Marina, joked at the award presentation that she told her husband CPR training probably was not necessary.
“I was so wrong,” she said. “I want to tell everyone to learn CPR.”