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Posts Tagged "cardiac"

12Sep

Surrey teen’s cardiac arrest leaves family pleading for defibrillators in schools

by admin

The sound of a phone ringing has put Surrey resident Esmeralda Gomez on edge for weeks.

Back in July, she received the kind of call every parent dreads. Her son Alex had been rushed to hospital after collapsing at the gym.

“It was the worst feeling,” Gomez said. “We got the phone call saying your son has collapsed, he may not make it so you need to get over here.”

Alex, who was then just 14 years old, had unexpectedly gone into cardiac arrest. He would spend the next 12 hours in a coma.

And Gomez said her son might not have survived at all if it hadn’t been for the lifeguards from an adjoining pool who rushed into the gym, used an automated external defibrillator (AED) on him and then performed CPR.

“The doctors at (BC Children’s Hospital) said if he didn’t have the AED machine used, he wouldn’t be here today,” Gomez said.

Before the incident, the family had no reason to suspect there was anything wrong with Alex. They described him as an athletic high schooler who played competitive soccer.

To their dismay, the cause of his episode is still unclear almost two months later.

“Tests all come back normal. They can’t find anything so we’re waiting for the genetic tests to come back,” Gomez said.

In the meantime, they’re terrified he could suffer another cardiac arrest somewhere that doesn’t have the kind of life-saving technology that spared their family a tragedy the first time – including at his school.

“We were extremely shocked to find out the school didn’t carry an AED machine,” Gomez said. “North Van has them, Coquitlam has them, why not Surrey?”

The provincial government doesn’t currently require schools across the province to stock an AED, something Gomez would like to see changed. The Ministry of Education told CTV News it follows the advice of B.C.’s provincial health officer, who currently supports the installation of AEDs in schools where there are children or staff with medical conditions that could require them.

There is also a private member’s bill in the works to create clear regulations around AEDs for the entire province, and to improve accessibility.

But the Surrey school district said for now, it’s facing issues around funding and maintenance.

“It’s not as simple as saying let’s put an AED in the school. I think there’s a number of things, a number of considerations outside the reach of the school district,” spokesperson Doug Strachan said.

Strachan promised the district will be addressing the situation with Gomez’s family, however.

“We will work with the family if there’s a need identified by a medical professional,” he said.

Gomez and her husband hope something will be done quickly. Experts caution that just 15 per cent of British Columbians who suffer cardiac arrest manage to survive.

“For every minute that goes by, your survival reduces by 10 per cent, so there’s really a small time frame where doing CPR and using an AED are extremely important,” said Gillian Wong of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

28Feb

Teachers honoured for saving student in cardiac arrest

by admin

Two Okanagan teachers were honoured by B.C. Emergency Health Services in Oliver on Tuesday for helping save the life of a student who went into cardiac arrest during gym class about a month ago. 

South Okanagan Secondary School teachers Steve Podomorow and Mike Russo resuscitated 13-year-old, Dilshaan Dhaliwal, using CPR and an automated external defibrillator or AED. 

“[The AED] gave him the best chance he could have possibly had. So, the AED was paramount in the success of this,” said Russo.

Quick action

During a joint gym class Jan. 30 with Russo’s Grade 8 class and Podomorow ‘s senior class, Dhaliwal collapsed after a 12 minute run, Podomorow told Daybreak South host Chris Walker. 

The Grade 8 student had just handed in his running results to Russo and was walking past Podomorow, when he went into cardiac arrest.

“I’m the first aid person at the school and checked him out quickly, got 911 on the phone and started the CPR process,” said Russo.

Oliver student Dilshaan Dhaliwal was flown to B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver for treatment after going into sudden cardiac arrest in gym class at school. (BC Emergency Health Services)

Podomorow said the 911 dispatcher stayed on the line with them the entire time, helping them throughout the process.

“We had the AED on and starting CPR probably within two to three minutes,” said Russo.

He estimates that he performed CPR for about eight or nine minutes. Dhaliwal was later flown to the B.C. Children’s Hospital for treatment. 

AED

“We were very fortunate to have the AED really close by,” said Podomorow. He said the easy accessibility to the defibrillator helped them and the paramedics use it quickly. 

Russo said he believes the AED, in addition to CPR, saved Dhaliwal’s life. 

“He was in a shockable rhythm and so when you have the AED there, we can hopefully reset the heart, and it was able to do that,” said Russo.

Many schools across the Okanagan have AEDs, but not all do.

The AED at South Okanagan Secondary School had been donated by the Advanced Coronary Treatment Foundation.

The North Okanagan-Shuswap School District announced last week that it would be adding defibrillators to all of its schools over the next three years.

Award

“[The incident] was definitely somewhat alarming, especially for me, but I think we work well together,” said Podomorow.

Russo, who is also a volunteer fireman, and Podomorrow were awarded the Vital Link Award by B.C. Emergency Health Services for their quick actions.   

Meanwhile, Podmorrow said Dhaliwal has been recovering at home but will have to undergo another procedure. 

“We’re very excited for his return and hope to see him around here soon,” said Podmorrow.

Two Okanagan teachers were honoured by BC Emergency Health Services in Oliver on Tuesday, for saving the life of a student who went into cardiac arrest during gym class about a month ago. 6:05

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