Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Quick Thinking Saves a Life at Wrestling Match

New York Teacher - February 27, 2007 -

Shane Lese has spent years acting on the "let's get physical" buzz. It's his job, as a phys ed teacher and wrestling coach at Horseheads High.

In December, his physical response was tested when he used an Automated External Defibrillator to help save a man who was having a heart attack at a wrestling match.

Lese, a member of the Horseheads Teachers Association in the Southern Tier, was coaching a match at Newark Valley High.

"I'd gone into the cafeteria to get a quick bite to eat and was coming back," said Lese. "I was just on my way back to the gym and I noticed a commotion."

That's when he was told a man in the bleachers was having a heart attack. He and a group of helpers put the man, John Lupo, flat on his back in the bleachers.

"We all kind of helped in the process of getting him to lie down," said Lese. "Then he became unresponsive."

Donna Hyde, a registered nurse and mother of a wrestler, and Lese both said, "We need to get a hold of an AED," Lese recalled.

Hyde and Walter Farrell, father of a wrestler, took Lupo's pulse.

"We determined he didn't have a pulse. He was not breathing," said Lese.

He said it only took about a minute for wrestling coach Eric Darcy, a member of Newark Valley United Teachers, to locate and hand them a defibrillator. The life-saving devices are now required in every school because of a NYSUT-backed state law that took effect in 2002.

Hyde started chest compressions and Farrell was doing rescue breaths, said Lese, who is a certified CPR instructor.

With the commotion in the gymnasium as people were cleared out, Lese said, it was hard to hear the AED prompts.

Shutting down

"It was a scary moment to see a man who, when you looked at him, was gasping for air. His body was shutting down," Lese said.

"You didn't know what he was feeling other than that something was desperately wrong."

He gave Lupo one shock with the AED and was relieved to see him become "somewhat responsive."

"Right as the EMTs arrived, he was just starting to come to," Lese said. "His heart hadn't completely stopped."

AEDs, he said, deliver a shock to get the heart into a more natural rhythm. "To not have these at different facilities is kind of crazy," Lese said. "Seeing CPR administered to what was a lifeless body … it's scary ... you're just thinking, 'What do we have to do?' You do what you're trained to do."

Lese said he is not a hero.

"A hero risks their life," he said. "I was just in the right spot at the right time."

At Horseheads High, all high school students are taught adult CPR.

NYSUT.org. Copyright New York State United Teachers. 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, New York, 12110-2455. 518.213.6000. http://www.nysut.org.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Recognizing Save #30 for Louis' Law!

Pictured (left to right): Physical education teacher Joe Mercado, Nurse Edwina Cook, Survivor Sadrettin Akgun, Nurse Ana Andersen and Custodian Tom Gortman.

On February 14, 2007, Sadrettin Akgun, a custodian at Meadow Elementary School in the Baldwin School District, suffered cardiac arrest while shoveling during the ice storm. Two nurses, Edwina Cook and Ana Andersen, and Joe Mercado, a physical education teacher, quickly administered CPR and used the school's defibrillator to literally bring Ms. Akgun back to life.

Recently, John and Karen Acompora presented awards to rescuers from Meadow Elementary School in Baldwin, NY for their role in saving the life of Sadrettin Akgun.

Monday, February 5, 2007

School Says State-Required Defibrillator Saved Studen

By OMAR AQUIJE, oaquije@poststar.com
Monday, February 5, 2007 10:55 PM EST

GLENS FALLS - A 7-year-old student is alive today because of an automatic external defibrillator his school purchased to comply with a 2002 law, making him the first in the Glens Falls City School District to be saved by the device.

Officials at Big Cross Street Elementary School used the AED on Friday to save Adam Chen, whose heart stopped beating during gym class.

An AED determines if a person who is suffering from a heart attack needs an electrical pulse, which restores a normal heart rhythm. EMT crews were still on the way to the school when the AED was used.

The device must be used immediately because the chance of a victim's survival decreases by 10 percent with every minute that passes, according to www.aed.com.

"Had this not been available at the school, he would have died," said Dr. Florence Nolan, who treated Adam when he was taken to Glens Falls Hospital.

He was later transported to Albany Medical Center, where he was still in intensive care Monday.

It is not known how long he will be hospitalized. But if everything goes well, he could be released in a week, Nolan said.

It is unlikely, however, that Adam will be able to play sports, she said.

The AED's memory allowed medical personnel to learn what happened with Adam's heart during the incident -- information that would not show in an autopsy, leaving the death unexplained, Nolan said.

A family spokesman would not comment Monday.

There are two AEDs at each Glens Falls high school and middle school. Each elementary school also has a device.

One of the AEDs -- which cost $2,500 each -- is brought when students go away on trips or road games, and schools are responsible for having one when they host games, said Glens Falls Superintendent Thomas McGowan.

He said the Big Cross staff did a very good job responding to the incident and followed protocol.

"We were very fortunate that we had the machine and everybody did what they had to do," McGowan said.

In 2002, an education law was created requiring each New York school district to have at least one AED in its facilities. Districts also have to ensure that each building has at least one staff person who is trained to use the device.

Nolan said anyone who has a family member who died suddenly and unexpectedly -- without obvious trauma -- should have an EKG to determine if he or she has Long Q-T syndrome, a hereditary disorder of the heart's electrical rhythm that can occur in otherwise healthy people.

© Copyright 2007 Lee Publications, Inc. DBA The Post-Star
You Tube
PO Box 767
Northport, NY 11768
Phone: 631-754-1091