Quick thinking and a public access defibrillator saved a life Friday night

OTTAWA — The quick response of bystanders at a local baseball field helped save a man’s life and a public access defibrillator made all the difference.

Ottawa paramedics say a man in his 40s collapsed in front of his teammates as they were playing baseball at Brewer Park, near Carleton University, Friday night. One of his teammates is a nurse, who recognized that he was in cardiac arrest. 911 was called and then, after preforming CPR, they used a defibrillator from the Brewer Arena and the man started breathing on his own.

When paramedics arrived, he was speaking in full sentences. He was assessed and taken to hospital in critical but stable condition.

Ottawa paramedic tweet PPAD Brewer

Michelle Farragher of the Ottawa Paramedic Service says sudden cardiac arrest happens to people who are relatively healthy but can have an underlying cardiac rhythm that’s gone undetected.

“This happens frequently enough that the city of Ottawa has invested in over 1,000 defibrillators throughout the city,” Farragher said. “We have theses defibrillators in all of the arenas, libraries and public spaces.”

Farragher says the operation of the defibrillator is simple; you just follow the instructions and let the device guide you.

“As you open the defibrillator and turn it on, it will then walk you through the process.”

PPAD inside

The Ottawa Paramedic Public Access Defibrillation (PPAD) Program has helped save 141 lives since it was started in 2001. 

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