Wednesday, March 24, 2010
CPR saves the Day
I just had one of those life defining moments I wanted to share with you. Still a little shaken, so it'll be brief.
This morning I was having a bagel and coffee at a local bagel stop in town when a group of cyclists rolled up for morning coffee. It's a local cycling club of retirees who take a little breakfast break each morning.
As I sat there, I noticed that one of them was on their hands and knees... a gentleman in his late 60's or early 70's. One of his fellow riders ran into the bagel shop yelling to call 911. All of a sudden, the gentleman slumped over onto his side.
I ran out of the shop as people stood around. Fortunately, a physician had pulled in to the parking lot to grab a bagel and quickly ran over the the cyclist. She assessed his condition and he was not breathing and had no pulse.
I quickly got down on my knees beside him and began giving chest compressions as she gave mouth to mouth. His eyes were slightly open and rolled back in his head and still showed no signs of life. I was counting my compressions, 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and.... As she give 2 breaths every 15 or so, then reassessed his condition. After about 50 compressions, he gasped and started very labored breathing. He was alive. We rolled him to his side as paramedics arrived on the scene within 5 minutes to take over (pictured above).
Fortunately, the man had medical information with him. He had recently had a heart attack and several other life threatening conditions apparently. The EMT's whisked him away in the ambulance in minutes.
I had never been part of something like that... but was very glad to have gone through CPR training in the past and to be able to keep my wits during the situation. It was a bit of a blur while it was happening, but I remember his riding buddies standing around cheering him on , urging him to breath and 'come back' when he was non-responsive.
Afterwards, I was shaking -- and still am a little bit. I started to get choked up too , thinking about that poor guy and how close he was to not coming 'back'. It also reminded me how important it is to know CPR and to carry medical information with you as a cyclist. You never know what's going to happen out there.
Ugh, what a morning! It puts a new perspective on what it means to be healthy. I need to go for an easy ride now. Live every day to it's fullest.