Thursday, December 4, 2003

Jacobowitz helps revive man at Whitestown meeting

Thu, Dec 4, 2003

WHITESTOWN -- A Whitestown resident collapsed during the regular meeting of the town board Wednesday night, and the leader in the unresolved race for town supervisor was part of a team who revived him.

Ted Radley had a heart attack seconds after questioning the board about a neighbor's continuing codes violations, Town Clerk Joanne Zegarelli said.

David Jacobowitz, who ran against incumbent Matthew Shannon for town supervisor in November, was sitting next to Radley when it happened about 7:45 p.m. Jacobowitz recently retired as chief of the Whitesboro Fire Department.

Radley, who supported Jacobowitz in the election, was still being evaluated in the emergency room at St. Elizabeth Medical Center late last night, a hospital spokesman said.

"I looked at him. I saw him straighten out. His whole body got straight right in the chair and he went off the chair," Jacobowitz said.

He and Codes Officer Dave Neary rushed to Radley's side, checked for a pulse and began to administer CPR for about five minutes.

Someone rushed to the ice rink at the Whitestown Community Center to get a defibrillator from Notre Dame High School hockey team who was playing a match against Clinton High School.

Man remains hospitalized after collapse

The man who collapsed at a Whitestown Town Board meeting Wednesday night underwent surgery Thursday afternoon, a St. Elizabeth Medical Center spokeswoman said.

Whitestown resident Ted Radley had just finished questioning the Town Board and town codes officer about his neighbor's codes violations when he sat down, stiffened and collapsed.

Radley was assisted by Codes Officer Dave Neary and David Jacobowitz, who leads in the unresolved race for town supervisor. Neary and Jacobowitz administered CPR and used a defibrillator to revive him. They were assisted by several others who attended the meeting.

Radley was taken to St. Elizabeth's Wednesday night.

© 2003 / Observer-Dispatch

Wednesday, December 3, 2003


Six dramatic rescues (and counting) are credited to the union-backed defibrillator law

December 3, 2003

From left, teacher Charlie Bateman, dentist Alan Katz, and publisher Lee Minetree were part of the rescue team for Dexter Grady, shown in foreground with an AED.

When custodian Dexter Grady of East Hampton Middle School was trained last December to use the school's new portable defibrillator, he never dreamed he'd be the first one revived by the life-saving device his union had helped to put in schools.

It was March 13. As usual on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, the 37-year-old custodian spent his dinner break playing a pickup game of basketball in the gym with a bunch of friends, including teachers Claude Beudert and Charlie Bateman.

Grady had just finished a game and was taking a breather when he suddenly felt light-headed and collapsed on the bleachers. Alan Katz, an East Hampton dentist, rushed over and began administering CPR, while Beudert and Bateman called for help and retrieved the Automated External Defibrillator from the hallway outside the gym. After three shocks with the AED, Grady started breathing normally and regained consciousness. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he received bypass surgery.

"I'm here because of God's grace and mercy, the quick actions of my buddies - and the fact that AEDs are required in every school," said Grady, a member of the East Hampton Non-Teaching Employees in Suffolk County on Long Island.

In the nick of time

New York State United Teachers, his local union's statewide affiliate, had helped achieve legislation just months before that required the life-saving devices be available in schools.

"We knew the law would save lives, but we had no idea how soon, or how many," said NYSUT President Tom Hobart.

In addition to Grady, at least five other lives so far have been saved because AEDs were at school sites. "Hopefully these latest incidents will convince more school districts to come into compliance," said NYSUT Executive Vice President Alan Lubin. "We are proud to have helped achieve legislation that has already had such a powerful impact for good."

A grateful Grady returned to work. He is even back on the court, playing pickup basketball.

"If I had been somewhere else in the deep of the building, I would've been found dead," Grady said. "Or if it had happened a few months earlier, or my district ignored the law, I'd be dead. There's no question in my mind: That law saved my life."

The union-backed bill, which requires an AED in every public school, was approved last year by the Legislature and governor after vigorous lobbying by the union and the passionate pleas of the parents of two teenage boys who died at school events where there was no defibrillator on hand.

Louis Acompora, 14, died March 2000, after he was struck in the chest while playing goalie for the Northport varsity lacrosse team. Gregory Moyer, 15, died in December 2000, while playing in a basketball game. Since their tragic deaths, the boys' parents have made it their mission to turn grief into action - to get AEDs in public buildings around the state.

"This is Louis' legacy," said his mom, Karen Acompora, whose foundation donated the AED that saved Grady's life. "When we lost Louis, we knew that we had do everything we could to prevent it from happening again."

"Each AED in a public place is like lighting another candle for Gregory," said Rachel Moyer, a Port Jervis teacher who worked with NYSUT, her statewide union, to win the law after she lost her son. "All these lives saved dramatically make the point that AEDs really do make a difference."

An international scientific study released last month confirmed that survival chances from cardiac arrest are doubled if you're helped by trained people using an AED.

In New York, in addition to Grady, other lives saved by school AEDs include:

  • Dec. 9, 2001: Muhammad Shah of Nesconset, a 15-year-old student at Smithtown High, collapsed walking to class and was revived by school nurses Marilyn Clark and Liz Chitkara.
  • Nov. 16, 2002: John Tierney, a 62-year-old football fan who collapsed in the stands at a high school playoff game was saved by an AED operated by Locust Valley athletic trainer Whittney Smith.
  • Dec. 16, 2002: Andrea LaFleur, a 16-year-old automotive student at Orange-Ulster BOCES, was saved by teachers and a school nurse.
  • Jan. 11, 2003: Judy Schneider, a 43-year-old chemistry professor at SUNY Oswego, was saved at Webster High School, where her daughter was competing in a swim meet.
In an amazing development last spring, NYSUT brought a defibrillator (donated as a "thank you" by the Moyers' foundation) to its annual convention in Washington, D.C., where it was used to save the life of a New York City delegate in cardiac arrest. Retired Brooklyn district representative Herb Yules was rescued by a team led by nurses who are members of the United Federation of Teachers. Yules is now doing great and a big fan of AEDs.
Despite all the heartwarming stories, Rachel Moyer and Karen Acompora can't stop thinking about the places that still don't have AEDs.

During one tragic week in January 2003, three students from different New York City schools suddenly collapsed in cardiac arrest. One was in a classroom; another in a gym class; a third was trying out for baseball. The schools did not have AEDs: All three students died.

"We're making progress, but we're not where we should be," Moyer said. "Too many schools are not in compliance. I have a list of 18 kids in the country who have died playing sports since Aug. 22, 2003, in schools."

Moyer noted that in Orange County, athletic directors have agreed that sporting events will only be played at schools equipped with AEDs.

"I think that's a great policy," she said.

Moyer filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the State Education Department to find out how many New York schools are not in compliance with the state law that requires districts to purchase AEDs and train staff.

She was sent a list showing 638 districts out of 800 reported having at least one AED, but that means thousands of buildings still don't have the life-saving device and trained staff.

"Just New York City has 1,200 buildings," Moyer said.

School districts can pursue several avenues to secure funding for AEDs. Some schools and local unions have hosted fund-raising events; others have received state legislative grants or help from the Moyer and Acompora family foundations. With quantity discounts, the cost of the life-saving devices is down to about $2,000 each.

Survivors speak out

Perhaps the greatest advocates for AEDs are those who have been saved.

"I know I wouldn't be here now if it weren't for that defibrillator," said Andrea LaFleur, who was saved by three teachers and a school nurse at Orange-Ulster BOCES. "I'm incredibly lucky that the (BOCES) Vo-Tech administrators responded so quickly to the new law and took the time to train people on how to use them."

LaFleur was one of 42 survivors recognized recently in Washington by the National Center for Early Defibrillation, with 42 representing the number of people who suffer cardiac arrest every hour in the United States.

As part of the event, LaFleur spoke at a congressional briefing about the benefits of having high school students get AED and CPR training in health class.

Campus crusader

Another of the 42 survivor honorees was Judy Schneider, the chemistry professor at SUNY Oswego and a member of United University Professions. She was saved by lifeguards when she collapsed at her 10-year-old daughter's swim meet at Webster High School.

"I'm living proof that everyone's at risk - it could happen to anyone at anytime," Schneider told congressional representatives and staff. "I was only 43 and had no previous heart problems, no blockage, no warning. It was just my good fortune that my heart short-circuited at a school that had an AED."

Schneider, who now has an internal defibrillator pacemaker to keep her heart in check, urged congressional representatives to improve Medicare and Medicaid insurance plans to cover people who need the devices. "I'm blessed with good health insurance so it was covered; others aren't so lucky."

Schneider is working to get AEDs installed in every building on her sprawling campus. "I've been hunting for them on campus and found four," Schneider said. "But if people don't know where they are or how to use them, what good are they?"

Someday, Schneider would like to see AEDs as prevalent as fire extinguishers. "To me, they're just as essential," Schneider said. "Your life shouldn't have to depend on where you happen to have a cardiac arrest."

- Sylvia Saunders Copyright New York State United Teachers. 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, New York, 12110-2455. 518.213.6000.

Monday, November 17, 2003

PAD Trial Results Make the Case for Training Volunteers to Use AEDs

November 17, 2003 — Results of the Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) trial suggest that the number of survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OOH-CA) nearly doubles when laypersons trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are also trained in and provided access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

The survival benefits of AEDs in the hands of public safety workers, such as flight attendants, security guards, and casino employees, has been well documented. However, to date, no randomized trial has been conducted to test whether nonmedical, true laypersons who do not have a formal duty to treat patients in medical emergencies can save more lives when they are trained and equipped to use AEDs, in addition to just calling 911 and performing CPR. The PAD trial, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, in partnership with the American Heart Association, is the largest prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trial undertaken to examine this specific issue.

PAD was a massive undertaking in which almost 20,000 volunteers were trained, said Chairman of the PAD Steering Committee Joseph P. Ornato, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia (Richmond).

Dr. Ornato presented the results at a late-breaking clinical trials session at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2003.

Standard CPR vs CPR plus AED

More than 1600 AEDs were placed at 993 sites in 24 regional sites in North America. Individual community units considered at high risk for OOH-CA were randomized to train layperson volunteers in either a 2-hour course that taught CPR only (recognition of cardiac arrest symptoms, instruction to call 911, and performance of CPR) or in a 4-hour course that trained volunteers in CPR, as well as in how to use an AED within a 3-minute time window. Additional retrainings were conducted at various planned intervals. Volunteers for the study had to have no duty to treat in medical emergencies (ie, physicians, nurses, emergency medical technicians, firefighters, and police were excluded).

Dr. Ornato reported that 24% of units were in shopping malls; 24% were placed in recreation centers; 15%, in residential units; 14%, in hotels, factories, and transit centers; 9%, in theaters and other entertainment centers; and the remainder in community centers and office buildings.

All PAD sites were within a “15 minute range of EMS [emergency medical services] response; we did not include rural or remote sites.” Follow-up averaged just over 21 months.

Distinguishing “presumed” from “definite” cardiac arrest

Dr. Ornato noted that the study design opened the door for ascertainment bias, in that an episode of sudden cardiac arrest could be misinterpreted. Dr. Ornato used the example of an elderly man found unconscious in a pool. If responders use an AED that documents ventricular fibrillation and efforts fail, his death is classified as a cardiac arrest. However, in the same scenario, if responders only use CPR and their efforts fail, the death is classified as a drowning.

To overcome the potential for this bias, an adjudication committee blinded to the intervention was used to distinguish presumed vs definite cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest was classified as definite if ventricular fibrillation/ventricular tachycardia or asystole was identified by the AED or by EMS or if the victim was found unresponsive with no pulse and died after CPR.

PAD results show AED use doubled number of survivors

Over the study period, investigators reported that there were significantly fewer incidences of definite OOH-CA in the CPR-only group vs the CPR + AED group (103 vs 129, respectively; P = .041). This significant difference was expected, Dr. Ornato told attendees. The majority of OOH-CA events (85%) occurred at public places (the majority in recreation, shopping, and entertainment facilities), and 15% of OOH-CAs occurred in private residencies (eg, apartment buildings or gated communities). Dr. Ornato noted that clinical and demographic characteristics were well-matched between the 2 groups; victims were predominately white, male, and aged 70 years.

Investigators found that the number of survivors of OOH-CA through hospital discharge, the study’s primary endpoint, was nearly doubled in the CPR + AED group, compared with CPR only units (Table). As noted by Dr. Ornato, the rate of overall survival was still disappointingly low in all patients.

Table. PAD: Primary Endpoint

AED indicates automated external defibrillator; CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Disappointing survival rates for home defibrillation

Dr. Ornato said that 15% of the AEDs were placed in residential units, usually “large apartment complexes or gated communities in which the residents were 50 or older.” However, these home units only accounted for < 5% of survivors, and outcome was not influenced by the presence or absence of an AED; both the CPR-only and CPR + AED groups had only 1 survivor to hospital discharge when cardiac arrest occurred in a residential unit.

Dr. Ornato cautioned against extrapolating the PAD findings to the home defibrillation setting. In the residential units, AEDs were not confined to individual apartments. Instead, they were centrally located in a public setting, in which a trained volunteer would have to retrieve the device and return to the apartment where the victim lived in order to deliver therapy. According to Dr. Ornato, the large ongoing Home AED Trial (HAT) will specifically address the role of in-home defibrillation to determine its role in preventing sudden cardiac death.

PAD fails to answer all questions, but take-home message still important

Roger D. White, MD, Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota), hailed the PAD trial as “truly a landmark trial” that has been eagerly anticipated. But he said that the number of arrests was lower than had been anticipated and that “the data don’t tell us how many patients had a rhythm not treatable by AED.” Additionally, he said that the study failed to identify AED locations where the devices were most useful.

Richard L. Page, MD, Robert A. Bruce Professor and Head, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine (Seattle), told Medscape CRM that he did not originally support the PAD study because he thought it was unnecessary. He said his work in Seattle subsequently convinced him that AEDs could significantly reduce out-of-hospital sudden cardiac death.

“AEDs have been shown to be effective in non-randomized series such as in casinos and our study with airlines,” Dr. Page said. “This report [PAD] represents the largest randomized trial of AED use by trained volunteers, and the study confirms that the AED improves the chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest.”

Nevertheless, the take-home message is still quite clear. Speaking at an AHA press conference where the PAD results were discussed, Raymond J. Gibbons, MD, Chairman of the American Heart Association Committee on Scientific Sessions Program and Arthur and Gladys D. Gray Professor of Medicine at Mayo Medical School (Rochester, Minnesota), said that the study clearly demonstrated “the value of training people to use AEDs in the kinds of public places that were described." Dr. Page agreed, adding, "It is time to fully deploy AED programs in places where numbers of people gather.”

By Peggy Peck
Reviewer: Albert A. Del Negro, MD

Copyright © 2003 Medscape.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Police Expand Defibrillator Program to Each Precinct

September 16, 2003

NEW YORK -- The city police department has given defibrillators to each precinct, transit district and public service area in order to help save the lives of people who have heart attacks, Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly announced Monday.

Officers have been able to restart the hearts of 16 people, 4 of whom survived, since the department began using the defibrillator equipment as a pilot program in 1997.

"We have not only provided this essential equipment to every precinct, we have also established a complete training program to ensure that our officers are fully prepared to use it during a medical emergency," Kelly said.

An automated external defibrillator is a device used to restart the heart by applying an electrical shock to it.

Other police units including the Harbor Patrol, Highway, Aviation, and Emergency Service units were also given the equipment.

Copyright © 2003, Newsday, Inc.

Friday, April 18, 2003

Court Officers Save Ailing Lawyer

By Shirley E. Perlman

April 18, 2003

The quick action of three court officers apparently saved the life of a Lake Success lawyer who collapsed yesterday morning in State Supreme Court in Mineola.

The lawyer, Michael Dikman, 66, was walking down the corridor at the Marital Center on 400 County Seat Dr. when he suddenly fell to the ground. Jacqueline Mahon, one of the court officers who responded, heard the thump.

"Then someone yelled out that a man fainted," she said. Mahon and two other court officers, Randall Meierdierks and Capt. Neil Schloth, used a portable defibrillator to revive him.

"The court officers in Nassau Supreme Court saved my father's life today," said his son, David Dikman, 41, also a lawyer, from Rockville Centre. "If they weren't there and if they didn't have the device or didn't think to use it or if they waited for EMS ... well he either would have died ... [or] the situation would be far more grave than it appears to be at this time."

Initially, Dikman regained consciousness on his own. "He was lying on the ground and he started coming around," Schloth said. "He said he had an internal defibrillator and that it had shocked him. He said it happened before. We thought it was no big deal."

But as Meierdierks attempted to take Dikman's pulse and blood pressure he lost consciousness again. Schloth said the internal defibrillator shocked Dikman four or five times, but that he didn't respond.

"We realized we were losing him," Schloth said. They attached a portable defibrillator. "We shocked him once and he came around right away."

Dikman was taken to the emergency room of Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, where he underwent tests yesterday, his son said.

Dikman was in the intensive care unit late yesterday afternoon.

Daniel Bagnuola, a spokesman for Nassau courts, said that all of Nassau's court buildings are equipped with defibrillators and that the three officers are trained emergency medical technicians.

David Dikman said it was unclear why the internal defibrillator failed to revive his father. "The device worked, but it didn't have the intended result," he said. "What saved him was that external shock that he got."

Copyright © 2003, Newsday, Inc.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

School Nurse, Defibrillator Helps Save Teacher's Life

Man Says He Was In Right Place At Right Time

March 25, 2003

DEDHAM, Mass. -- A substitute teacher at Dedham High School suffered cardiac arrest last week as he prepared to begin a tutoring session.

NewsCenter 5's Heather Unruh reported that it was an ordinary day at Dedham High that became extraordinary, when substitute teacher Joe Grasso suffered cardiac arrest. Nurse Gail Kelley found him on his side.

"(He was) clearly not breathing. We rolled him over and he had no pulse," Kelley said.

Kelley started CPR while the principal grabbed the school's new portable defibrillator. Within minutes, she had shocked his heart back to normal rhythm.

"By the time he left here, his coloring was back, he was answering questions," Kelley said.

"I passed out and then I woke up. I don't remember anything else," Grasso said.

Grasso, 52, may not remember Kelley's heroics, but he knows he nearly suffered the same fate as his brother who died of a heart attack last month.

"If it happened at home, if it happened on the way to school, if it happened at another school -- I might not be here now," Grasso said. "I was at the right place at the right time."

Doctors said that defibrillators are safe and easy to use. You attach electrodes, and the machine tells you if a shock is needed.

"There is no question that this saved Mr. Grasso's life. If he had been in a situation where it was not available in a timely fashion as it was at Dedham High School, we wouldn't be celebrating his health -- we'd be memorializing his life," Brigham and Women's Hospital Dr. Charles Pozner said.

"It felt good putting it on the wall, but you hope you never have to use it. And yet we used it. It did absolutely exactly what it was supposed to do, and it saved his life," Kelley said.

Copyright 2003 by TheBostonChannel.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

FDA Okays Defibrillator System for Pediatric Use

By Ori Twersky

WASHINGTON (Reuters Health) Jan 28 - Cardiac Science Inc. said on Tuesday that it has received a supplemental clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its pediatric defibrillation electrode pad system for its Powerheart AED (automatic emergency defibrillator), permitting the system to be used on children under eight years old.

The pediatric electrode pads are significantly smaller than the standard pads, to better fit the bodies of children. The pediatric system also is designed to decrease the energy delivered during a defibrillation shock.

"The school market is expanding rapidly in both the US and UK and we anticipate additional legislation, similar to New York State, which will continue to drive adoption of automatic external defibrillators in schools," said Cardiac Science CEO Raymond W. Cohen.

Cohen added that the new pad system would retail for about $90 and that shipments would begin immediately.

Citing a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the medical device maker estimated that about 23,320 children and young adults in the US died of cardiac arrest between 1989 and 1996.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

A young life saved by a school defibrillator

Staff rescues 16-year-old at Orange-Ulster BOCES
January 15, 2003

NYSUT staffers learn how to use automated defibrillators such as the one at far right.

If it weren't for a new state law requiring portable defibrillators at schools - and quick action by Orange-Ulster BOCES staff - a 16-year-old student who suddenly collapsed in class Dec. 16 probably would have died, medical personnel said.

The young woman had no history of heart problems and recently had a physical by her family physician, said Patricia Simmons, assistant director at the Career and Technical Education Center at Orange-Ulster BOCES in Goshen.

According to emergency reports, the student was in the classroom at about 2:35 p.m. when she turned to a fellow student and said, "I need to sit down." She collapsed and began having seizures. Staffers reported her pulse was weak, she was barely breathing and turning blue.

School nurse Sandra Montest-Hoff arrived quickly and administered CPR, with help from teacher Thomas Kavanah and a student who is a volunteer fireman. When it became clear the teen-ager was in cardiac arrest, a student ran for one of the school's Automated External Defibrillators purchased over the summer. Law enforcement instructors Don Weber and Bob Decker, both trained in using the AED, arrived immediately and attached the pads to the young student so the machine could analyze her condition. With audible instructions, the AED quickly indicated that a shock should be administered.

"The machine told us exactly what to do," Decker recalled. "After the first shock, it told us to continue CPR. After a short period of time, the AED advised us to shock her again." They continued chest compressions and then emergency personnel arrived. EMTs administered oxygen and the AED indicated a third shock should be administered. "After the third shock, she started breathing and the machine detected a faint pulse," Decker said. "The EMTs told us if we had not had that machine, she would not have survived."

The staff's heroic work was kept quiet when the young girl slipped into a coma and had trouble being stablized. After doctors inserted an internal AED, she came around and was discharged from the hospital in early January.

Shining example

"I always knew how wonderful the staff was, but this was such a shining example," Simmons said, noting the board would honor the staff at an upcoming meeting. "It's also an example of how important it is to be proactive. We never would have purchased these AEDs if it hadn't been for the new law. And looking back now, I can't tell you how glad I am that we jumped right on this even before the Dec. 1 (implementation date)."

The teachers involved, members of the Orange BOCES Teachers Association, said they volunteered for training in October - never realizing they would need to use it so soon.

NYC tragedy

Meanwhile, the news was different in New York City, where two students died in schools where there were no defibrillators.

In December, New York City and the state's four other big-city districts requested a reprieve from the new law, saying they needed time to secure funding. The request was rejected by the State Education Department, but there is no penalty for noncompliance.

On Jan. 6, a 19-year-old student died after he collapsed playing basketball at Harry S. Truman High in the Bronx. The next day, a 16-year-old girl died at a public school for disabled students in Staten Island. While it's unclear whether a defibrillator would have saved either student, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg responded by ordering defibrillators to be placed in city schools as soon as possible.

Rachel Moyer, a teacher-activist who worked with New York State United Teachers for the law's passage, is working with New York City school officials to secure donated AEDs. Moyer, a special ed teacher in Port Jervis, began her crusade after losing her 10th-grade son in December 2000 when he collapsed and died during a basketball game at a rural high school where there was no AED.

The Orange County incident was the second time a school's defibrillator has saved a life since the AED law was enacted. In mid-November, just before the kickoff of a football game on Long Island, Locust Valley athletic trainer Whittney Smith used an AED to restart the heart of a 62-year-old spectator who collapsed in the stands.

"We knew this law would save many lives," said NYSUT Executive Vice President Alan Lubin. "Hopefully these latest incidents will convince more school districts to obey the law."

More information about the defibrillator law is available on the NYSUT Web site,, including an informational bulletin and a link to the State Education Department Web page on AEDs.

More info is also available at the official web site of the Gregory W. Moyer Defibrillator Fund,

- Sylvia Saunders Copyright New York State United Teachers. 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, New York, 12110-2455. 518.213.6000.

Tuesday, January 7, 2003

Defibrillator saves Somers man in a supermarket

Tuesday January 07, 2003

(Mahopac, New York-AP) -- A Somers man was saved by a police officer using a defibrillator after the man collapsed in a supermarket and stopped breathing.

Carmel Police Officer Ernie Iarussi has been on the town police force for just two years. He says he's practiced using the defibrillator, but yesterday morning was the first time he had to use it for real.

Officer Iarussi was called to the A-and-P Sav-A-Center on Route Six in Mahopac at 11:30 a-m for a man who collapsed. Iarussi says the man was not breathing and had no pulse.

An off-duty Stamford firefighter - Michael Repp - helped begin C-P-R. Iarussi got his defibrillator and gave the victim one jolt, which started his heart again.

Ambulance workers arrived shortly after and took 75-year-old Robert O'Connor ot Somers to the Putnam Hospital Center.

He's listed in critical but stable condition this morning.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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