If anyone knew about the importance of having an AED close by in the event of cardiac arrest, it was John Warner. Being an interventional cardiologist, he could speak over and over again to the virtues of the “chain of survival” – a combination of CPR education and AED access prior to the arrival of paramedics that could significantly increase the chances of survival in a victim where the fast action was paramount.
Then, on a mid-November morning, while he was staying in a hotel room for a conference, it happened. John Warner went from being the educator to experiencing the role of a victim: He went into cardiac arrest.
What makes this all the more ironic is that Warner holds one other very important role: he is currently the President of the American Heart Association.
Even though he was physical powerless to speak and express what was wrong, if there was one element that Warner had in his favor, it was the good fortune that his wife, Lisa, was in the room with him.
Lisa promptly told her children to get help and began administering CPR chest compressions to her husband. Before long, she was joined by a pediatric cardiologist and nurse staying down the hall, who helped relieve Lisa of giving chest compressions. Finally, a hotel staff member arrived with an AED for providing a shock to John’s heart.
After two shocks from the AED and combined CPR efforts, John Warner was resuscitated and taken by paramedics to a nearby hospital.
Call It Luck? No. Call It The Chain Of Survival.
There’s no doubt that having people who were highly trained in CPR nearby, including one in the same room, was immensely important to bringing Warner back after his cardiac arrest episode. But let’s be clear. Besides the proximity, it’s all about four things that worked in unison to help save his life that day:
- At least one person getting help (i.e. calling 9-1-1)
- Multiple people who fully understood how to administer CPR
- A facility that carried an AED
- People on staff who knew exactly where the device was located
While the EMTs and hospital staff certainly played a vital role as well, the steps above were critical for paving the way to their success in a very tight window of time. For example, imagine how much longer the odds would have been if nobody knew how to give CPR. Or the hotel didn’t have an AED – or they had one but a staff member couldn’t recall where it was stored. All of these potential pitfalls could have severely hampered Warner’s rate of survival by the minute.
What Can Any Of Us Do?
It’s easy to feel helpless when you consider that John Warner was still relatively young – 52 years old – exercised regularly and had a healthy diet. After all, a person in his position with the American Heart Association would practically have to adhere to that lifestyle. So what went wrong?
There was one other important factor that was challenging for Warner to outrun: His family history. Both his father and grandfather experienced heart bypass operations, so he knew that he had that negative factor facing him, no matter what his health regimen resembled.
If you face the same type of family history, this doesn’t mean that you give up hope and be resigned to the idea that it’s only a matter of time before you experience cardiac arrest. Yes, in truth, that may happen to you just like it happened to John Warner. But helpless? No. First, it makes it incumbent upon you to continually monitor and track your health. Having a daily understanding of how diet and exercise are impacting your health and wellness, along with regular visits to your doctor, is a very smart and proactive approach as a foundation.
You’re Not Done Yet.
Let’s Get The Chain Of Survival Ready.
- Educate yourself, your loved ones and your co-workers on how to perform CPR successfully. Even if they’ve taken a CPR class years ago, it’s time for a refresher course. SOS Technologies can have a safety consultant on hand in no time who can train your staff right on-site on how to perform CPR.
- Purchase at least one AED for your office facility. At SOS Technologies, we recommend that you invest in one device for each floor if financially possible and we can guide you toward the best options for your needs and budget.
- Make sure everyone knows where the AED is located in the event of an emergency.
If you have this level of knowledge and equipment in place, you’re preparing your environment for a sequence of event to occur in seamless order without any hiccups. And make no mistake – that’s exactly what needs to happen for the best chance of survival during a sudden cardiac arrest event.
If it can happen to John Warner, it can happen to you or someone you care about – but just like Warner, the outcome can be a positive one too. Let’s help you get there. Talk to SOS Technologies about how our safety consultants can help provide you with the proper solutions for an AED, CPR training and first aid supplies. Call 888.705.6100 today.