WARSAW — Yesterday, Monday, Aug. 17, during the Warsaw Community School Corporation regular monthly board meeting Tony Doyle, operations manager of Lutheran EMS Kosciusko came before the board to honor staff and even a student for extraordinary measures that saved a 16-year-old boy’s life this summer.
According to Tracey Akers, RN, and nurse coordinator for WCS, students were in class at Warsaw Community High School for what seemed a normal Monday at summer school. Students Owen Glogovsky, senior, and Connor Hall were in class when suddenly Hall collapsed. Though teachers Todd Braddock and Jeff Gross would have no way to know how serious the situation truly was, they immediately responded, sending Glogovsky to run and alert Akers to the situation.
When Akers arrived at the scene, she knew the situation was worse than expected. According to Akers, she could not find a pulse or any sign of breathing when examining Hall. She immediately began CPR and requested an AED be brought to her immediately as well as 911 be notified. Glogovsky ran to retrieve the machine as Braddock and Gross worked to call medics and assist Akers. Akers utilized the machine twice, giving compressions and breaths intermittently until medics with Lutheran EMS could arrive at the scene.
According to Doyle, Hall had suffered from sudden cardiac arrest, a condition most would never expect to affect a 16-year-old boy. Doyle noted when medics arrived, the life saving measures taken by teachers, Glogovsky and Akers had made their jobs much easier in stabilizing Hall.
Medics transported Hall to Lutheran Hospital where he was kept in an arctic state. On Thursday, three days after the occurrence, Akers learned Hall was recovering from the incident and his family was seeking further care and answers at Mayo Clinic.
Though the situation is uncommon, both Akers and Doyle stressed sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, at anytime. Though this is the first time in Akers’s 11 years with the corporation she has had to utilize an AED, she noted the importance of her training and thanked the K21 Foundation for supplying all schools in the county with these devices.
“The longer you go without oxygen the less chance there is of survival,” explained Akers. “Getting everyone working together so well and having everyone listen and follow directions made a huge difference. I’m really glad there was a school nurse in the building and I want to thank those who have provided proper training to me.”
Doyle noted though his team arrives at a scene within approximately 7 minutes of a call, the first four minutes after a patient’s heart stops are imperative to saving a life.
“The moment a person’s heart stops the clock starts ticking. If they can do CPR right away, call 911 and get an AED there within 4 minutes, there is a 60 percent chance of survival. At the 8 minute mark, the chance goes down to less than 15 percent. Applying the AED and utilizing CPR immediately, that is the thing that saves people’s lives. If something is being done before we arrive, that is what makes the difference.”
Those interested in CPR and first aid training are encouraged to call Doyle at (574) 269-1975 for further information.