A man’s life was recently saved by a HeartSine samaritan® automated external defibrillator (AED) at Zielona Recreation Centre in Lubuskie, Poland. He was swimming in the pool at the recreation center when he lost consciousness and sank below the water. Lifeguard Pauline Niemczynowska and her colleagues quickly sprang into action pulling the man from the pool. They then dried him off, put on the defibrillator electrode pads, delivered a shock with the AED, and he woke up.
The man had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). When someone suffers a SCA, every second counts, and the guidelines for the chain of survival for SCA state that early defibrillation is key to survival, as delaying the administration of a shock greatly reduces the effectiveness of treatment of SCA.
In Zielona Gora, there are almost 140,000 people and only 30 defibrillators. In comparison to this, the University of Zielona Gora has 10 defibrillators in its gated community alone. Since 2011, the university’s AEDs have been used twice. All students and employees of the university are trained to use defibrillators and learning about defibrillators is part of mandatory safety training, says Ewa Sapenko, a spokeswoman for the university.
Dr. Brzozowska-Mankowska, a trained emergency physician from Lubuskie, argues against the views that defibrillators are an ‘unnecessary expense’, saying “the use of the defibrillator is child’s play,” and “if each of the defibrillators saves even one life then it is still a legitimate purchase.”
Kotowice, a village in Poland, has around 80 homes and 400 people. They are a positive example of an area in Poland that is being heart safe. With fundraising they were able to place a defibrillator in the community and are training at least two people from every household on how to use it in the event of an emergency.
The director of Zielona Gora Centre of Culture and Recreational, Robert Jagielowicz, congratulated the rescuers, saying “thanks to them a man lived”.
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