HEALTH ALERT: How Crews Respond to a Heart Health Emergency and - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

HEALTH ALERT: How Crews Respond to a Heart Health Emergency and What You Should Do

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A 38 year-old Kennewick man goes into cardiac arrests right in front of his family, he was in that state for almost 30 minutes while emergency crews worked to get his heart working again. A 38 year-old Kennewick man goes into cardiac arrests right in front of his family, he was in that state for almost 30 minutes while emergency crews worked to get his heart working again.
KENNEWICK, WA - A 38 year-old Kennewick man goes into cardiac arrests right in front of his family, he was in that state for almost 30 minutes while emergency crews worked to get his heart working again.
     
The man survived and is doing okay now, but what does it take to get an outcome like that?

Kennewick Fire crews said the answer is early treatment and a prompt call to 911. 

"He had been complaining of a burning sensation in his lungs to his wife and shortly there after he collapsed on the floor in front of her," said Captain Kelly Williamson, Kennewick Fire Department.

"So when we arrived on scene we found the patient down, CPR had already been in progress we took over defibrillating the patient as we went, giving him shocks, giving him different medications," said Ben Singly, Kennewick Firefighter and Paramedic. 

Paramedics said when they respond to a call they are prepared to do all of those things before even loading up a patient in an ambulance and getting them to the emergency room, every second of chest compressions is a matter of life and death.

"As little as six minutes going by with nothing being done, their chances of survival drop well below 50 percent," explained Williamson, adding if someone is showing symptoms of a heart attack they should call 911 right away and start CPR. 

"Keep the heart working until we get there is going to increase the patient's chance of survival," continued Singly. 

In 2013 the Kennewick Fire Department responded to 50 cardiac arrest emergencies.

One of the most important things you can do is to be aware of the warning signs and symptoms.

"Chest pain or they are having discomfort numbness or tingling in their arms even back pain can be a precursor to these...any kind of stuff like this someone needs to call 911 immediately," Williamson said. 

Other warning signs include shortness of breath, nausea and lightheadedness.  

According to the CDC only 27 percent of people know all the major symptoms of a heart attack and that they need to call 911. 
      
Emergency crews say knowing all of that, can help save lives.
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