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A Lucky Day: AEDs Save Lives, by Beth Weston AED/CPR Instructor

Joe did not think this was his lucky day. He had watched the football game just too long. Now his wife was reminding him of that as they sped down the highway. They were going to be late for dinner at the in-laws. His wife was not going to let him forget. So he pushed down a little more on the gas pedal. And then the day went from bad to worse. His rear view mirror lit up with flashing red lights and his wife’s reminders were replaced by the incessant scream of sirens demanding he pull over. It just was not his day. Politely he handed his licence to the police officer. He wondered just how much the fine would be.

The police officer smiled as he processed the licence on the computer back in his cruiser. He figured the wife’s lecture would be worse than the fine. He looked up at the man’s vehicle and was surprised at the activity. The car was rocking a bit as the wife seemed to be moving her arms excessively and screaming. He approached the driver’s door to see what all the fuss was about.

Joe looked as if he had passed out. He was very pale and not responding and as the officer looked closer he realized that Joe was not breathing. Wow, the officer was sure glad that he had taken the CPR refresher course last week. It had been interesting as they had introduced a new machine called an A.E.D., short for automated external defibrillator. He knew just what to do. He cocked his head and spoke into his shoulder mike. He called for help. ….help for Joe, a middle aged man who was not breathing, and he asked for an A.E.D.

Then he pulled Joe out of the car, laying him on his back on the road. Immediately he started chest compressions. The wailing sound of sirens was a welcome sound to the police officer. His buddy ran to him with an AED. As CPR continued the second officer removed Joe’s shirt and exposed his chest. Quickly the pads were applied to Joe’s bare, hairless chest. The officers sat back on their heels while the AED analyzed Joe’s heart rhythm. A shock was required and one of the officers pushed the shock button. Joe’s body jumped with the strong jolt. The machine directed the officers to resume CPR. Two minutes passed and again the machine asked them to sit back while it analyzed Joe’s heart rhythm and again a shock was required. The wail of the ambulance siren brought relief to the officers. Joe stirred as he was lifted onto the ambulance gurney. Indeed it certainly was Joe’s lucky day.

There were smiles all around the next day as the police officers met Joe and his wife at the hospital. Joe was so very thankful for the police and their fast action, but the police deferred to the little AED machine. It had indeed changed the success rate of CPR and in this case was responsible for Joe’s lucky day.

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