Knowing Basics of AEDs, CPR Can Save Lives
In a medical emergency, having the right knowledge and tools on hand can make all the difference. Just ask Dallas Stars Rich Peverley and local mom Aline Fagundes.
During a game at American Airlines Center on March 10, 2012, Peverley collapsed on the bench and required immediate medical attention. The forward, who suffers from a pre-existing heart condition known as an irregular heartbeat, was rushed into the tunnel to receive oxygen, an IV, CPR and electrical stimulation via a defibrillator. The defibrillator was needed to bring a rhythm back to his heart. Peverley quickly regained consciousness under a doctor’s care and was transported to a local hospital for further treatment.
For Aline Fagundes, who gave birth to multiples almost three years ago at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, the value of knowing CPR hit home soon after the release of one of her newborns from the hospital. Just days after bringing home daughter Laura, the infant was found not breathing in her crib with vomit on her side as a result of severe reflux. While her husband called 911, Aline performed baby CPR. Laura was responsive even before medical personnel could arrive. Aline attributes the successful outcome in large part to the life-saving procedure she learned through the hospital’s Family and Friends CPR program.
“The Peverley and Fagundes cases are two great examples of why CPR and defibrillation are two important techniques to have in your arsenal,” according to Nina Asrani, M.D., a physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth. She also practices at Consultants in Cardiology Fort Worth, a Texas Health Physicians Group practice. “And the good news is, CPR is a basic skill that anyone can learn and portable Automated External Defibrillators ― or AEDs ― are designed to be used without previous medical training. You don’t have to be a medical expert to save a life and be in the right place at the right time.”
“Many schools, sports arenas and other public places are implementing practices of having AEDs on hand because there is a certain number of people amongst us who will not know they have a heart condition until something unexpected happens. Clearly people who have a pre-existing condition can also benefit from an available defibrillator should a medical emergency arise,” Asrani added.
To jump-start your knowledge of defibrillators, the American Heart Association and local EMS services offer how-to defibrillator training as part of a life-support curriculum.
Physicians employed by Texas Health Physicians Group practice independently and are not employees of the hospital or Texas Health Resources.