SAN ANTONIO – Robert Mauricio didn’t expect his last words to be haggling over the price of a car at the 57 Auto Sales car dealership on Thursday. Fortunately, due to the quick thinking and actions of trained employees, Mauricio was given another chance at life.
A security camera captured Mauricio suffering from a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). In seconds, he goes from talking with the salesman over the final details of his car purchase to being unconscious and not breathing in the chair. The salesman recognizes the dire situation and leaves his office to get help. Moments later, employees from the dealership return and begin CPR while another relays information to 911 operators. CPR is continued until EMS arrives and takes over.
The 61-year-old Mauricio recalled the ordeal on camera just hours later from his hospital room with ABC affiliate station KSAT. “I told him, I said, ‘I don’t know if I’m having a seizure. I don’t feel good,’” Mauricio said to the salesman before he lost consciousness in the chair.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest can happen anywhere, at any time
Mauricio’s story shows why it is important to recognize that Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) causes approximately 15% of all deaths in Western countries. In the United States, 326,000 cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest occur among adults each year. (Sources: Circulation https://doi.org/10.1161%2Fhc4301.098254 and https://doi.org/10.1161%2Fcir.0000000000000258).
Many SCA victims are otherwise healthy and do not exhibit any warning signs before the event. SCA can also be triggered by cardiovascular disease and conditions such as a heart attack.
Neurologically intact survival of SCA in the United States only occurs with 8.3% of cases (Source: SCA Foundation http://www.sca-aware.org/sca-news/aha-releases-2015-heart-and-stroke-statistics). Rapid detection, bystander initiated CPR, use of a public access defibrillator, and early advanced life support drastically improve the chances of survival.
While Maurcio’s SCA occurred seemingly in the right time and place – in the presence of rescuers who were able to recognize cardiac arrest and initiate CPR – most others are not nearly as fortunate. The actions of the 57 Auto Sales have allowed Mauricio the opportunity to finalize his purchase of the Mitsubishi Outlander he wanted and hopefully enjoy it for years.
There are some ways that you can prepare your team for a SCA emergency:
- Train: Get your team trained to recognize SCA and perform CPR. Achieve the goal of having at least two people trained and certified at your workplace during all working hours. The AHA Heartsaver CPR AED course provides a strong foundation for emergency response and includes ample hands-on training. You can even provide a course for your team at your workplace.
- Equip: Having an Automated External Defibrillator on site greatly improves the chances of survival when combined with high-quality CPR. AEDs are affordable and very easy to operate. Check out Code One’s AED Team package on the Philips HeartStart OnSite AED. Our AED Team is experienced with AED Program Implementation – email us for a free consultation!
- Practice: Run through mock Cardiac Arrest drills at your workplace at least quarterly. Practice how your team would activate the emergency response system, who is responsible to retrieve the AED, and how to assess the victim and start CPR immediately.