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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fan saved, returns to promote Bystander CPR

Cubs Fan Saved by TriHealth Team after Collapsing at Great American Ball Park Returns to Promote CPR Awareness, Throw First Pitch

Updated May 17, 2011

TriHealth Team, CPR Save Man's Life at Great American Ball Park (Oct. 13, 2010)

A Chicago Cubs fan who went into cardiac arrest at Great American Ball Park last season threw the ceremonial first pitch as the Reds hosted the Cubs on May 16 to raise awareness for the thing that saved his life — bystander CPR.

The TriHealth Event Medicine Team jumped into action to save Larry Alexander's life on August 28, 2010. After watching the Cubs beat the Reds, he collapsed face-down in a ballpark elevator while heading back to his hotel.

Fortunately, the elevator was right next to the TriHealth-staffed First Aid room. Dr. Jarrad Lifshitz, an emergency physican with the TriHealth Event Medicine Team, along with two nurses, administered CPR, used a defibrillator, intubated Mr. Alexander, and inserted an I.V. to inject medicine for his arrhythmias — all right there in the elevator.

Mr. Alexander received treatment at Good Samaritan Hospital, then went back to the Chicago area for open heart surgery two weeks later.

Just before the Reds hosted the Cubs on May 16, Mr. Alexander, 80, threw the ceremonial first pitch to the doctor who helped save his life.

“I am so grateful that I get emotional just talking about it – I owe my life to those people in Cincinnati,” he said.

As a walking example that bystander CPR saves lives, Mr. Alexander returned to partner with the TriHealth Event Medicine Team, doctors from Good Samaritan Hospital and the Cincinnati Reds by passing along the message of the importance of CPR.

Mr. Alexander was featured in a pre-game, on-field recognition ceremony before the 7:10 p.m. matchup.

During the game, TriHealth had a booth set up in the concourse along the third base line with the following:
- Wallet cards with CPR tips
- Mini-mannequins for people to practice their CPR technique and get feedback from TriHealth nurses
- A sign-up sheet for free self-guided group CPR training kits.

Mr. Alexander is partnering with TriHealth to make the American Heart Association’s CPR Anytime kits available free to as many as 75 people who are willing to commit to training at least five or more people at their work or other community organization.

CPR facts
- In Cincinnati, only 14.1 percent of cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR.
- The American Heart Association estimates that more than 95 percent of cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital; however, when CPR is administered, the survival rate increases to 31.5 percent