It turns out defibrillators can’t miraculously save lives if they can’t be turned on.
A man needed life-saving help earlier this month but, although there were people on scene willing to provide it, a failed battery prevented any opportunity for a happy ending.
The good news for a man who went into cardiac arrest on the Toronto subway was that a nurse and a doctor were on the same train and a defibrillator was on the wall of the TTC station.
The man collapsed on the northbound train Nov. 8, the AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) on the wall at Museum station was deployed.
The problem was they could not get it to turn on.
“It didn’t work,” said one witness.
“The battery was dead,” added a Toronto firefighter.
In other words, the AED was useless.
The nurse and doctor attempted CPR and chest compressions until Toronto Fire got to the scene and took over and applied its operational AED.
But it was too late.
The senior citizen was taken by ambulance “vital signs absent” and pronounced dead in hospital.
The big question is if the AED in Museum station had been operational, could it have helped?
“My understanding is that this was a tragedy and even Fire/EMS were unable to revive the gentleman,” said a saddened TTC spokesman Brad Ross. “Toronto Fire and EMS did attend, but the customer did die, sadly. There’s no way to determine if the AED would have made a difference. CPR and efforts by Fire and EMS with their defibs were unsuccessful.”
But why did the AED not work?
”The battery had somehow become dislodged from the unit when it was removed from the case,” Ross explained. “This has been shared with EMS to make sure people are aware of this anomaly. All units on TTC property have been checked.”
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“Four in 10 cardiac arrest incidents went unnoticed by private ambulance crewmen when they responded to non-emergency calls…”
Do you think your organisation’s workplace first aiders can perform their duties above reproach?
A defibrillator was 30 feet away from the 15-year old who died last weekend while playing a pickup basketball game. An autopsy revealed Antwon Whitehead died of heart failure after collapsing on the court at Carver High School on Saturday afternoon.
Georgia state law requires defibrillators in every public school. Carver High School’s is located in the training room next to the gym. The law only requires schools to have one, it doesn’t require people to use it in certain situations.
There were two coaches present when Whitehead collapsed on the side of the court. One of them performed CPR on Whitehead.
The Director of Athletics at Muscogee County School District, Dr. Gary Gibson says the coaches followed protocol.
“It’s not an easy call,” says Gibson. “These coaches first mindset is, if I can do the CPR, this is what I’ve always done, I’m comfortable with it, and so that’s what they go to.”
Defibrillators have only been in public schools since 2009 so they haven’t necessarily been at the top of everyone’s mind, especially in high-stress situations. Officials are working with schools to educate and raise awareness about the presence of the defibrillators and how to use them.
We can prevent this, if only we put our hearts and minds to this public health issue.
…due to the human body’s physiological processes, aka nature. The heart only allows someone approximately 5 minutes for that life-saving shock to give the best possible outcome of your loved one returning back to their normal self, aka without brain damage.
Pay close attention to the 16.25-19.35 min mark of this video.
During my rounds, I attended to a patient by the name of Mr L.
He is 57 years old, a father of a 10 year old girl, with no prior medical condition.
According to his wife, he was working late till approximately 1am at home because he tends to stay up late as the next day is a Sunday.
Past 5am, his wife heard him gasping for air during his sleep. Because he was not responsive, the ambulance was called.
They arrived past 6am. 2 shocks were delivered before return of a pulse. However, by this time, he was already down for 45 minutes.
In the hospital after head scans, he was diagnosed with hypoxia-induced encephalopathy, aka brain damage from lack of oxygen.
He is now bed-bound with contractures, needs a tube for feeding, on adult diapers with a large sacral sore the size of a adult fist.
His wife was asking for my opinion on the Do-Not-Resuscitate orders for her husband, because she cannot bear to see him suffer any longer. He has been in this state for half a year already.
If only someone can reach him within the first few minutes with an automated external defibrillator (AED), it will surely give him a better fighting chance.
This someone WILL NOT have a duty-of-care to this father/husband in the capacity as a volunteer, unlike another victim of an incident whom I had attended to before.
Let’s try to make this a thing of the past.
More facts, from the UK. Facts from the USA can be found in an earlier post.
Well-known hawker Andrew Lim Seng Ann (above) was at his stall at Bedok Food Centre greeting the long line of customers with his usual “hello brother” and “hello sister” last Thursday.
Then the 58-year-old owner of the popular Ye Lai Xiang Cheng Tng stall suddenly collapsed and died of a heart attack.
Mr Lim’s death came as a blow to his many loyal customers, who said they would miss his cheng tng as well as his good-natured character.
His death comes soon after another local hawker legend, Mr Thomas Ng Ba Eng (left), of the famous Eng’s Noodle House, died of a heart attack on June 17 at the age of 71.
A life saving device wasn’t working at the Normandy School District, and a mother says that’s why her son is dead.
15-year-old Marquez Oliver died last month after being punched in the chest at Normandy High School while playing around with his friend.
According to the police report, the automatic defibrillator did not work when school officials tried to use it in the moments following Oliver’s collapse.
Oliver’s mother, Jackie Johnson says she’s left searching for answers, and believes her son should still be alive.
“As a parent, it hurts to know that they are still going to work every day and my son will never come home,” she said.
According to the police report, Oliver had a pulse but was unconscious. Before paramedics arrived, school officials tried using an AED to resuscitate him only to discover it wasn’t functional.
Johnson says she wants the person responsible for maintaining the device held accountable.
“Justice,” she said. “I would like to see justice.”
The district has been silent on the matter.
Schools in Missouri are not required by law to have AED devices. Just 15 states are mandated to have them.
Even as she grieves, Johnson said she had to speak out.
“This was my child, it could have been anyone else’s child,” she said. “We’ll never know what he could have been.”
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