A Putnam County man survived a cardiac event this past weekend during the Putnam County Airport Appreciation Days thanks to the quick actions of emergency services.
An 85-year-old male collapsed and was in cardiac arrest. Bystanders performed immediate CPR. A Greencastle Fire Department crew in the area quickly grabbed their automated external defibrillator. The AED was used and the crew was able to get the patient back with a pulse and breathing -- even talking with the crew.
A Putnam County Operation Life ambulance arrived, stabilized the patient and transported him to Putnam County Hospital. The patient was later transferred to The Heart Center in Indianapolis for further cardiac evaluation where he remains.
Operation Life had an ambulance at the Air Show at various periods during the weekend. The incident occurred simultaneously with a car accident at the front of the airport so the ambulance at the Air Show was already being utilized when this call came in.
"This incident illustrates the benefits of having a unified emergency services team," said Kraig Kinney, Executive Director for Operation Life. "The fire department had the training and equipment and did an excellent job in literally saving this patient's life."
Kinney noted that the best chances for successfully resuscitating a patient in cardiac arrest is early CPR, early defibrillation, and early Advanced Cardiac Life Support (paramedic care) which the American Heart Association labels the Chain of Survival.
"This patient had all four chains in his favor which is probably why he is alive today," Kinney said. "This incident also emphasizes why it is so important to get people trained in CPR and AEDs placed throughout the county, particularly with fire departments and police agencies."
Kinney also spoke with the patient who, while appreciative of EMS efforts, preferred to remain anonymous.
"The patient indicated that everyone did a 'wonderful job' and 'came from everywhere to help him,'" Kinney said. "After the event, he woke up quickly and was as concerned about missing the airshow as about the episode."