Post by Chris Nelson

Sam Hungerbuhler was sitting at his stepson’s basketball game when something seemed to be wrong.  “I was sitting there watching the kids going to the ceiling, but at the same time I was like ‘Why are the kids going to the ceiling?'”

Sam was only 42 and regularly exercised, yet despite his healthy lifestyle was experiencing a heart attack.  He collapsed to the floor, passing out.  Fortunately his wife, Trish, was a registered nurse and also knew that the gym was equipped with an automated external defibrillator (AED) device.  The nurses at the gym knew where the machine was and had made sure to regularly replace the AED’s batteries and pads.

Within minutes they were performing compressions and mouth-to-mouth recitation.  They stopped and looked at the AED.  It told them it was not enough.  They continued the compressions until it was.

Some may say that Sam was lucky and in the right place at the right time, but I think it was more than luck.  A saying in sports is that one is luckier the more they practice.  The same goes for this kind of situation.  When it comes to saving a life, one is luckier the more prepared they are.  What could have been a terrible crisis for Sam’s stepson and wife was averted because a school and its nurses were sure to keep an updated AED in its gym.

According to the American Heart Association, one third of heart attacks experienced outside of homes and hospitals occur at gyms or health clubs.  A drastic statistic like that should not be taken lightly.  Because gyms are high-risk locations for heart attacks, make sure that your gym or health center has taken proper precautions and owns a readily available and updated AED.



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