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We recently received a letter from a nursing student who is taking a class on ethics in the medical field, asking about whether or not we support laws like New Jersey’s “Janet’s Law.” For those that do not know what this law is, it is a bill that requires all schools, public and nonpublic, to have automated external defibrillators (AEDs), and trained staff that can respond to sudden cardiac events, by September 1, 2014. The bill is named after Janet Zilinski, an 11-year-old girl that died during cheerleading practice. Since her death, her family has started a foundation that has been raising awareness and providing AEDs for places that do not have them.
Wayne Jones III came to the Tennessee State football program as a walk-on redshirt freshman defensive back. According to reports, during a non-contact practice on November 7th, he was returning the ball to the assistant coach after a backpedaling drill when he suddenly collapsed. 911 was called at 4:35 p.m. Jones was brought to the hospital and later pronounced dead at 5:33 p.m.
“What would I have done?” is the question that leads into Christie Aschwanden’s post (found at http://www.dailynews.com/ci_22939177/cprs-not-necessarily-an-automatic-response-cardiac-arrest?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com) questioning whether she would have made the same decision as the living facility administrator who obeyed her company policy and refused to perform CPR on a patient who collapsed. It was later revealed that the administrator was simply obeying the wishes of the patient, who did not want any measures to be taken to prolong her life.
About a month ago I wrote a blog post about Rick Palombo, a man whose quick emergency response saved a life in a gym in Costa Mesa, California after a 67 year old man collapsed while exercising. This story is generally how episodes of cardiac arrest happen – the man had a preexisting heart condition and collapsed while working out. Fortunately for the man who collapsed, the gym had an accessible AED (automated external defibrillator) and a fellow gym member responded immediately, and he ended up surviving in good condition.
Walt Disney World is a dream come true for many children and parents alike – the photo opportunities with their favorite characters, the endless supplies of theme park food, and the various rides (Tower of Terror, anyone?) draw crowds from all over the world. However, emergencies can even happen at the most magical place on earth, and Disney has made it their business to be prepared. Disney has done a great job recognizing that one major theme park concern is cardiac arrest.
When faced with a disaster like the one at the Boston Marathon I think it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer horror of it all. It certainly doesn’t help when we are bombarded with images of people that have died, lost limbs, or suffered burns and it was difficult to not feel incredibly anxious as almost every news channel you flipped to in the last few days was 24 hour coverage of the manhunt. There is a place for all that, but here I want to focus on the courage that countered an attack meant to implant fear; I want to focus on the people that faced the aftermath of the explosions, risking their own lives to save others; I want to talk about the Boston EMT.