Sunday, March 23, 2014

Quick action by EMTs save Riverhead teacher's life at 'Crazy Sports Night' event

Quick action by EMTs saved the life of a Riverhead teacher who collapsed in cardiac arrest after a hard-fought game of tug-of-war at "Crazy Sports Night" tonight at Riverhead High School.
Phillips Avenue Elementary School teacher Lonnie Hughes went into cardiac arrest on the high school gymnasium floor at the conclusion of a tug-of-war contest pitting Phillips Avenue against Aquebogue Elementary School. Hughes was the anchor man for the Phillips team, which was defeated in the match. Immediately after it ended, Hughes fell onto his back, appearing to have lost consciousness.
Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps head ALS provider Jennifer Kelly, who was in the audience to cheer on her nephews' school, and Riverhead High School physics teacher Gregory Wallace, an EMT with the East Marion Fire Department, rushed to the fallen teacher's aid, Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps Chief Joseph Oliver said tonight.
RVAC member Susan Shleef maintained the patient's airway and breathed for him, Oliver said.
Kelly and Wallace used a defibrillator to shock the patient's heart to establish a heartbeat, Oliver said.
Other teachers participating in the sports night event formed a human wall around Hughes as EMTs worked to resuscitate him, to protect him from view of the gymnasium packed to capacity with children and their families.
School officials immediately evacuated the gym, which was emptied without incident within minutes of the teacher's collapse, as a Riverhead ambulance crew rushed to him with a stretcher.
Hughes began breathing on his own in the ambulance on the way to Peconic Bay Medical Center, Oliver said. By the time the teacher was in the emergency room, he was talking and laughing with the EMTs who brought him there, the RVAC chief said.
Hughes, 57, was transferred to Stony Brook University Hospital for further observation and testing, Oliver said.
"The outcome of having our ambulance there was the reason Lonnie is alive right now," Oliver said.
 Hughes' family wants the community to know the teacher is alive and well, and asked the ambulance corps chief to make a statement about tonight's events, he said.
RVAC personnel who responded to the emergency at the high school gym tonight were: Chris Mazzucca, Sameer Anandm Heather Zilnicki, Laura Donahue, Joseph Sokolski, Christopher Flemming, Andrej Ceckowski Sandra Ruttkaova and Martin McKenna, according to the RVAC chief

Thursday, March 6, 2014

IHC player ‘critical’ after collapsing at basketball game

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PHILADELPHIA — An Immaculate Heart Central School basketball player is in critical condition after collapsing during a game Tuesday afternoon at Indian River Central School.
The player, identified by IHC varsity football and softball coach Paul Alteri as Jack Valentine, 13, was resuscitated by school personnel, taken to Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown and transferred to Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, according to Indian River Athletic Director Jay Brown. Valentine was listed in critical condition Wednesday night. The nature of his illness was unknown.
Mr. Alteri said he had not spoken with the boy’s parents but heard he “is getting better.”
Valentine had just returned to the bench after playing the first quarter when he collapsed, Mr. Brown said. The incident occurred about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday during a boys modified seventh-grade basketball game.
School nurse Theresa M. Leeson and athletic trainer Ashley N. Naklick, both at the school at the time, performed CPR and used an automated external defibrillator, or AED, on Valentine until an ambulance arrived. He had a pulse before he left, Mr. Brown said.
“They did a fantastic job,” he said. “The boy is still with us today because of them.”
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