Save Date: 7/24/2003
Activity: At work
It was Thursday and Mary was at work on her way to lunch. She felt fine and had no warning signs that her heart function was about to be disrupted by sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Yet a few steps from where she works as a security guard in the headquarters lobby, Mary dropped to the floor and was unconscious. "There was no pain, I didn't even feel light-headed," she said. Her co-workers immediately called an OCC trained responder, who was on the scene in just moments. Another co-worker called 9-1-1, while the responder checked for a pulse and connected an external defibrillator (AED) to her chest. After the initial shock, Mary still did not have a pulse, so the responder began CPR. Mary was still hooked up to the machine, and the machine advised another shock. The responder administered another shock. Mary took a deep gasp and began to breathe. By acting quickly, the responder delivered the shocks that brought Mary back to life. The paramedics arrived at the scene and took Mary to the hospital, where she remained unconscious for several days. When she woke up, she did not remember anything about the incident. Cardiologists inserted an "implantable" defibrillator into her chest, and a few days later she was able to go home. After two month's rest, she returned to work, feeling and looking fine.