According to a report from The Argus this morning, an 18-year-old teenager saved the life of a 17-year-old who had stopped breathing after suffering a severe impact to the chest. The heroic 18-year-old was able to bring the injured teen “back to life” while an air ambulance rushed to the scene.
It happened in Bexhill, a town outside London on the south-east coast of England. The boys were playing cricket, a sport similar to American baseball, when a sudden injury caught everyone off-guard.
David T., 17, was reportedly batting for his team when a speeding ball struck him just under his ribs. He staggered backwards and fell to the floor. His teammates watched the scene in horror as David soon ceased breathing, and appeared to be dead.
The captain of the team told reporters that they assumed David just had the wind knocked out of him and would get back up. They soon realized he had gone pale and was struggling to breathe. “We were by his side, trying to revive him,” he said. “we were crying and then he stopped breathing and we thought he was dead. All appeared lost.
That’s when 18-year-old Jamie Bristow-Diamond, a member of the opposing cricket team, came to the rescue. Using the first aid he learned at his university, Jamie administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation while others looked on emotionally, waiting for help to arrive.
“One of the other players had first aid and was trying so hard, he wouldn’t give up and then suddenly he brought him back from the dead.”
Soon after the injured boy was brought “back to life,” the air ambulance arrived overhead and set down in the center of the field. Paramedics discovered that, thanks to the administration of CPR, he was breathing again. However, he was in cardiac arrest.
The air ambulance team rushed the patient to the specialist cardiac unit at William Harvey Hospital. Once there, physicians found that the force of the impact had triggered a heart arrhythmia, which is what caused him to collapse. He was later reported to be conscious and talking in the hospital.
This whole story should remind us of the importance of first aid education. Even with healthcare responders a phone call away, the quick (and correct) administration of first aid can save a life while waiting for trained medical professionals. According to the American Red Cross, a full quarter of Americans say they’ve personally experienced a situation where someone needed CPR at some point in their lives. It’s because of stories like these that we recommend first aid training to everyone.
The American Red Cross recommends these steps in the event of a witnessed sudden collapse:
1. Check and CALL
1. Check the scene, then check the person.
2. Tap the person on the shoulder and shout “Are you okay?” as you look for signs of breathing.
3. Call 9-1-1 if there is no response.
4. If the patient is unresponsive and not breathing, begin CHEST COMPRESSIONS.
2. Give Chest Compressions
1. Place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest.
2. Place the heel of the other hand on the top of the first hand, lacing your fingers together.
3. Keeping your arms straight, position your shoulders directly over your hands.
4. Push HARD and FAST.
-Compress the chest at least 2 inches.
-Compress at least 100 times per minute.
-Allow the person’s chest to rise completely before pushing down again.
Continue chest compressions until you see an obvious sign of life (breathing), an automated external defibrillator is ready to use, or a trained responder takes over. In addition, stop if the scene becomes unsafe or if you become too exhausted to continue compressions.