When you see a cardiac arrest, your brain fights you - "No, this isn't really happening" - and the circumstances fight you - "Dang! in CPR class the manikin didn't weigh very much and wasn't sitting in a deep chair. This blog deals with practical details and presents reports of "saves." Let me have your questions and comments - they will steer the course of this blog.
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In the midst of the game between Carthage and Brownwood last Friday night, fans responded to a medical emergency in the stands.
On Friday evening during the second quarter of the state semi-final 3A football game, a Carthage coach’s father fell over in the stands with an apparent heart attack. [more likely in cardiac arrest caused by a heart attack] What happened after was a whirlwind of life-saving action.
Romie, Milton Caver’s wife, yelled for help and Carthage fans responded. She also called her son Brian, who was a coach down on the field. Sue Spann, a 32-year RN, sitting just in front of the Caver’s turned when she heard her name being called by a Kathy Lister, who was several rows up. Spann turned and saw the pale, gray, ashiness in Mr. Caver’s face. By the time she was able to turn and render aid, another woman had answered the call, Yvonne Brown, LVN.
While they were assessing the patient who had neither pulse nor heartbeat,[i.e., in cardiac arrest] Mr. Caver had been laid flat on the bench. Brown then began chest compressions and Spann began respirations. All the while, paramedic Dwight Taylor and Dr. Keith Keeling were overseeing the two performing CPR.
“Of course, by that time, many people had called 911 and Dallas paramedics were on their way,” said Spann, “But Mr. Caver still was unresponsive.”
A third person, a man who has not been identified, jumped into relieve Spann and Brown as they tired.
Soon stadium staff brought their AED machine. Caver was shocked twice but was still unresponsive, said Brown., so they resumed CPR. [The fact that the AED shocked him twice means that his heart had a shockable rhythm. They resumed chest compressions because the AED instructed them to do so. When you are using an AED, it is your boss.] Brown said that CPR keeps blood flowing through the body until, hopefully, the patience [s/b 'patient'] regains a heartbeat and pulse.
Just about the time Brown, Spann, and the third good Samaritan were beginning to tire, Dallas paramedics arrived and took over, since they had much more technical equipment.
By the time they were relieved, Brian Caver had arrived from the field and was holding and comforting his mother. Brown said that she began praying. “I remember praying it would work out, and they would have their Christmas together.”
Brian told this reporter later that as he and his mother watched they thought he was beyond help and they had lost him. “I could only comfort my mom. We knew he was dead. We lost him, even when they took him to the hospital. I had no hope at all,” said Brian.
Since the Cavers were sitting on the top row, paramedics were able to lift him on his board over the back of the stands to get to the ambulance.
Brown said that later she had heard Caver had regained his pulse and heartbeat in the ambulance.
Brian added that while in the ambulance they got his dad‘s heartbeat going even though it was only one beat every 10 to 12 seconds. All in all they shocked him about 20 times. He was taken to Methodist Charlton Hospital, but within the hour was air-lifted to the main Methodist Medical Center in Dallas. There he received two stents in the “widow maker” artery [left anterior descending coronary artery].
Brian said that they were at the right place at the perfect time. “No doubt the good Lord put dad in the exact seat surrounding him by those wonderful people so they could all work together to save his life. And I thank them.
“If this had happened anywhere else, we would have lost him. And if I had been scouting for the possible next game, I would not have been there for my mother. The Good Lord blessed him.”
Milton Caver was in Critical Care until Dec. 16 and was moved to a room Dec. 17, where he was expected to go home later in the day to go home to Linden. Gary, Milton’s younger son is with his father, mother, and Brian now. “He is walking fine now, and the doctor said his heart itself was fine, but he is sore from the compressions that saved his life,” added Brian. by Elaine P.McPherson