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Arena defibrillator saves hockey player’s life

MIDLAND – The quick thinking of teammates – and ready access to an automated external defibrillator (AED) – saved the life of a 59-year-old man earlier this month.
Simcoe County paramedics responded to a 911 call at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre in Midland on Nov. 1 after a man collapsed while playing hockey with friends.
"Bystanders and members of the hockey team immediately came to his aid, calling 911 and performing CPR,” Midland police Insp. Ron Wheeldon stated in a news release. "An AED was then successfully utilized to shock the man’s heart and regain a pulse.”
Paramedics continued life-saving measures and took the man to Georgian Bay General Hospital for treatment.
Parks and recreation director Bryan Peter was not at the arena when the incident happened, but said the man was there as part of a private hockey group rental.
"My understanding is that particular group has some volunteer firefighters and some police officers that would have been off duty, so they would have had lots of people that would have been trained,” he said. "Our staff is all trained, as well, so our guys grabbed the machine and (his teammates) fixed him up and an ambulance was called.”
The incident reportedly took place while the man was sitting on the bench.
"From what we heard, he was sitting on the bench and the guy next to him noticed he was having some problems,” Peter said, adding there are currently two AED machines in the building.
To the best of his knowledge, this was the first time one of the machines in the building has been used. However, it does mark the sixth successful resuscitation from cardiac arrest in Simcoe County directly attributed to the public-access defibrillator program.
"This is just a really good … example of how important they are,” said Peter. "Who knows when someone is going to experience a heart problem?”
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, approximately 45,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur in Canada each year. The survival rate of victims for an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is less than five per cent. However, cardiopulmonary resuscitation with the use of an AED before the arrival of paramedics can increase the chance of survival by up to 75 per cent.

Nicole Million
nmillion@simcoe.com|
Nov 14, 2011 - 11:30 AM
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