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Saturday, July 16, 2011

You have to keep the heart and brain alive until the defibrillator gets there.

EMS Applaud Bystander CPR

Updated: Jul 15, 2011 11:11 PM
By Kayla Ayres - email

LEWES, Del.- Over the past week, Sussex County Emergency Medical Services personnel said they've seen an increase in calls for victims of sudden cardiac arrest. These same responders said three of these calls were successful thanks to bystanders performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, promptly.

The calls came from a fitness center, a golf course and a restaurant in Sussex County. According to the American Heart Association, EMS treats about 300,000 people suffering cardiac arrest outside of the hospital annually, with a survival rate of just eight percent.

John Morris, a professional personal trainer in Lewes, was one of the people who performed bystander CPR this week. On Wednesday, a longtime client collapsed during a simple training exercise.

Morris said the client convulsed and stopped breathing.

"At that point I realized that we needed to call 9-1-1 of course, and get the defibrillator on the gentleman and get his heart back in rhythm," Morris said.

Joe Hopple, education coordinator with Sussex County EMS, said with bystander CPR, mortality rate improves greatly.

"CPR is the only thing that will keep someone alive until help can arrive once their heart stops beating," Hopple said. "If someone collapses, early access to 9-1-1, early defibrillation with an AED, early advanced care from professional paramedics, is key to someone surviving cardiac arrest.