By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News
Quick action by staff and members at Dundas Granite Curling Club, and the use of a Public Access Defibrillator, are being credited for saving a man’s life.
Club manager Freda Braker said the 47-year-old curler had just delivered a rock across the ice at the 24 Head St. club, on the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 27.
As he returned to a standing position, the man suffered a heart attack – falling backwards and slamming his head onto the sheet of ice. He wasn’t breathing and his heart apparently wasn’t beating.
Curlers on the ice reacted immediately. While a couple rushed to the man, others cleared the area and several called 911 while two people checked for a pulse and started chest compressions.
A staff member grabbed the club’s defibrillator, purchased by the club within the last five years and apparently never used before, outside of training.
The group applied one shock to the victim with the equipment before Hamilton firefighters arrived and took over.
“He couldn’t have had a better group of people around him,” Braker said. “They jumped right in.”
She said Monday the man was in the Intensive Care Unit – with a fractured skull and broken ribs, but alive.
“He’s got a long way to go. But it’s amazing he’s still alive,” Braker said. “That defibrillator saved his life. It’s the first time it was ever used. It did the job.”
She said all staff at the Granite Curling Club, which is approaching its 50th year of operation, is trained on the life-saving equipment.
The club’s model actually talks the user through the process, providing assistance even in a moment of panic.
According to a press release from the Hamilton Paramedic Service, firefighters and then paramedics continued advanced cardiac life support treatment and the man’s pulse returned.
“The patient maintained his pulse, started to breathe and open his eyes on his own during the transportation to the hospital,” the press release stated.
Paramedics credited bystanders at the curling club and the defibrillator with saving the 47-year-old man’s life.
“The survival rate of victims for an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is less than 10 per cent,” the paramedic press release states. “However, the use of a (defibrillator) with CPR before the arrival of Emergency Medical Services can increase the chance of survival by up to 75 percent.
“This highlights that with prompt recognition, combined with simple training in CPR and rapid defibrillation, lives can be saved.”