On the day that he died, Jon was a very lucky man!!! It was two weeks after his 40th birthday and Jon was busy at work, he had things to do!!! He was a family man and a business man with a high flying corporate lifestyle. He didn’t have time to stop until his heart did!!!
At 40 years of age, Jon had suffered a heart attack and his first bit of luck was that his heart did not stop beating immediately. He got some warning signs & symptoms even though he initially ignored them. He had chest pain and felt unwell and sweaty.
His second bit of luck was the insistence of a work colleague that he be driven to hospital without any further delay.
His third bit of luck was that he did not go into cardiac arrest in the car. For the driver, suddenly stopping in traffic and trying to perform CPR on a casualty who is seated in an upright position and wearing a seatbelt, whilst phoning for help at the same time, is not going to end well. Just the delay caused by removing the casualty from the vehicle takes vital minutes, that dramatically reduces the chances of survival.
His fourth bit of luck was that he made it to hospital where his luck ran out ……….. Jon suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest and ‘died’ multiple times. One final most important stroke of luck, however, was on his side because he had made it to a hospital before his heart went into cardiac arrest and emergency medical assistance was immediately available to save him. He was quickly defibrillated in the emergency department and revived. Had he remained at work where there was not an Automated External Defibrillator on the premises, he would have most probably not survived.
Many people who suffer a Sudden Cardiac Arrest get no warning and literally ‘drop dead’ on the spot. A sudden cardiac arrest means that they are dead and need rapid defibrillation to restore a normal heart rhythm. Without an AED, a rescuer at the scene performing CPR and waiting for paramedics to arrive with an AED would give the victim a slim chance but most likely there would not have been a happy ending.
Apart from no AED in the workplace, Jon made the near fatal mistake of not taking his symptoms seriously and delayed getting help until he finished important tasks that needed his attention. Tasks that would never had been completed had some luck not been on his side!!!
Had Jon suffered his cardiac arrest at work, he more than likely would not have survived, as his workplace did not have a defibrillator. His life was saved by the quick thinking and insistence of his colleague and by reaching the Emergency Department in time.
Five years later, John today is still a family and business man but with a very different approach to life & lifestyle. He is also a strong supporter of AEDs in all workplaces because he is living proof that Sudden Cardiac Arrest can occur anywhere, anytime to anyone of any age.
Jon is in indeed a very lucky man. A heart attack is not a cardiac arrest and suffering a heart attack does not automatically mean that a Sudden Cardiac Arrest will occur, however, the likelihood of a cardiac arrest resulting from a heart attack is extremely high. No one presenting with symptoms of a heart attack should delay seeking medical attention because there is a very high risk that they may go into cardiac arrest without warning.