When Someone’s Life is at Stake, Do You Know How to Use an AED?

By Jade Waddy

It was Joseph Vincent’s first day at his new job in the FedEx Warehouse when he started feeling ill and lost consciousness. While sitting in his supervisor’s office, Vincent began to go into cardiac arrest. Thankfully, the warehouse had recently installed automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and his coworkers had been trained on exactly what to do to keep Vincent alive until Cy-Fair EMS arrived.

Vincent was transported to Memorial Hermann Cypress Hospital where he we was resuscitated and rushed into emergency heart surgery.

Lifesaving Equipment

The care administered by his coworkers and EMS restored his heart signal, which improved his outcome once he arrived at Memorial Hermann Cypress.  There, Vincent received an electrocardiogram, which detected that he had sustained a dangerous heart attack known as a STEMI. A STEMI heart attack occurs when a blood clot completely blocks the coronary artery to the heart for a prolonged period. A STEMI has a substantial risk of death and disability and requires a quick response. More than 25,000 Americans suffer a STEMI heart attack each year.

Vincent had a stent placed in his heart and spent a few days in the Intensive Care Unit where post-arrest hypothermia was initiated. Post-arrest hypothermia is a type of treatment used for people who have experienced cardiac arrest. It lowers the patient’s body temperature for a short time in order to reduce potential damage to the brain.

Vincent made a full recovery and soon returned home.

“The AED machine played a large role in Mr. Vincent’s outcome,” said Dr. Bashir Al Kaddoumi, an interventional cardiologist at Memorial Hermann Cypress, who treated Vincent. “By restoring his heart signal, he was able to regain consciousness and arrive at the hospital in a state where we could quickly remove the blockage in his heart.”

A Special Reunion

A few weeks after he went home, Vincent was reunited with his care team at Memorial Hermann Cypress along with the paramedics from Cy-Fair EMS and his co-workers who saved his life.

He had one message: “Thank you.”

Vincent completed two months of cardiac rehab at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center to improve his cardiovascular health.

 “If AED machines had not been installed and employees at that facility had not been recently trained on how to use them, I might not have made it to the hospital in the condition I did,” Vincent said. “I’m doing great now. I’m so thankful for all of my care team at Memorial Hermann Cypress and my former coworkers for stepping in and saving my life.”

AEDs can save lives, but do you know how to use one? Watch below as Memorial Hermann Life Flight® Paramedic, Josh Cools, demonstrates how to properly operate an AED machine.

To learn more about heart care at Memorial Hermann, click here.

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