The Lehigh Valley Chapter is committed to SCA prevention through the availability of AEDs in the community and by promoting the importance of early access defibrillation and CPR. Stephanie Larson, the chapter leader, is in her last year of medical school and looking forward to a career in emergency medicine. She has been involved in pre-hospital emergency medicine for over 10 years and has seen the importance of having AEDs available and early CPR provided to victims of SCA. She feels her role as an emergency room physician will allow her the unique opportunity to continue to promote SCA awareness and prevention.
The Lehigh Valley Chapter's focus will be on identifying partnering opportunities with hospital programs, community groups, and family physicians and specialists. The Chapter acts to provide resources for training, speakers for community programs, and information on PAD programs. Meetings for survivors and their families as well as awards for community members who were involved with the initial prehospital care of survivors are future goals of this chapter.
Tennis Club Saluted for Saving Lives
By Christina Kristofic, The Intelligencer
The Lehigh Valley Chapter of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association will honor the Doylestown Tennis Club for saving two members' lives.
Employees of the Doylestown Tennis Club have saved two members' lives in the past two years.
And the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association will honor the club for the accomplishment later this week. The association will also recognize the paramedics and emergency medical technicians who helped in both cases.
This is the first time the Lehigh Valley chapter, which was established about a year ago, will recognize a local business for saving lives.
Chapter leader Stephanie Larson said the tennis club hasn't always had a defibrillator, but bought one after a member suffered a heart attack more than a year ago.
"I think it's important for other businesses to stand up and take notice that this business saw a problem, fixed it and was able to mobilize when there was an emergency," she said.
Club owner Ed Mullaney said he's glad to receive the acknowledgement, but he's more grateful for the members' lives.
"I think the Lord was looking down on us," he said.
The Doylestown Tennis Club has been in Doylestown Township for 37 years. Mullaney said several people suffered from health problems in the club's first year, but the club hadn't had anymore medical incidents until May 2008.
Mullaney thought about getting a defibrillator several times over the years.
"There was some controversy over whether or not we should have a defibrillator," he said. "A couple of doctors said, 'Oh, don't worry about it. Just call 911,' when I asked them about it."
Then, in May 2008, club member Robert Isett had a heart attack in the middle of a tennis game.
Cory Smith, an instructor at the club, gave Isett mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. He and Dominique Oldre, a club member from Furlong, worked together to administer CPR until Doylestown Township police Officer Christopher Power arrived a few seconds later and used an automatic external defibrillator to restart Isett's heart.
The three saved Isett's life.
And after what happened to Isett, Mullaney knew what he had to do.
"I said, 'That's it. We need to get (a defibrillator).' I didn't want to take any more chances. I didn't care what anyone's opinion was at that point. It seemed to me the right thing to do."
Mullaney never thought he or one of his employees would actually have to use it.
Another club member had a heart attack in the middle of a tennis game just before 8 p.m. Dec. 22, 2009.
Employee Debbie Pileggi was working alone at the club desk, and hurried down to the court. Mullaney said, "She was nervous as heck. But she went down on the court and the machine walked her right through it."
The club member was taken to the hospital.
And at the hospital, Mullaney said, "The doctor said she saved his life. If they'd waited until he got to the hospital, he was gone."
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