QUICK acting staff at a Co Down leisure centre saved the life of a man, with the help of what the facility manager described as “one of the greatest inventions ever”.
The 61-year-old collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest during a spin class at Comber Leisure Centre last week.
He stopped breathing and “would have been dead” but for the use of a defibrillator, said Michael Goodall, the centre’s manager who was centrally involved in saving the man’s life.
The man had just left an exercise class at the gym within the centre before heading to the spin studio.
Mr Goodall heard word of the incident at his post in reception. He immediately grabbed the defibrillator and ran with other colleagues to the scene.
Describing their actions as "a team effort by staff", he said:
“It would be our training that regardless of what has happened, bring the defib. When we got there, you could hear and see he was trying to breathe. It was an uncomfortable sound, then he stopped breathing."
“With a cardiac arrest, the defib gives a person a strong chance of survival. Without it that person would have been dead.” The man was recovering in hospital this week following the dramatic life saving action last Thursday."
The 'defib' kit includes scissors, razors and other items that might be needed in an emergency. As another staff member cut the tee-shirt, Michael was carrying out cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
“If you listen to be defib it tells you exactly what to do. It tells you to step back while it is analysing the body and says if it needs to be shocked,” said Mr Goodall.
In this case the man needed to be shocked. The leisure centre manager explained that during cardiac arrest the heart is not still but going in spasms so the shock is aimed at bringing it under control.
“We shocked him and then went straight back into CPR,” Michael added. This is a critical time as those administering the emergency treatment do not know for sure if they will come around.
They were at the last of the count to 30 when the man made a noise which demonstrated he was going to live.
“Without a question CPR serves its purpose but those defibs are one of the greatest inventions ever,” said Mr Goodall, adding he has previously used the machine on a football pitch and at another leisure facility.
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