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."

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