Saved by CPR: Athlete Resuscitated

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The crowd gasped audibly when 24-year-old pro-soccer player Fabrice Muamba collapsed during a match. The Bolton midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest on the field; fans watched in awe as a team of doctors swarmed to his side and immediately began administering Advanced Cardiac Life Support — or ACLS — CPR to the unconscious athlete.

Muamba’s heart didn’t start beating again for over an hour.

It took 48 minutes to transport the soccer player to a London hospital. On the way, doctors administered repeated chest compressions, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and 15 defibrillator shocks from an AED device. They kept up the hard work for another 30 minutes after they arrived in the Emergency Room, and finally – after being declared “in effect dead” by a team doctor – Muamba was resuscitated.

A little more than a month later, a recovering Muamba was discharged from the hospital and even stepped onto the soccer field to watch his team members play a match.

Without CPR, he wouldn’t have survived to watch another game.

According to Dr. Benjamin Abella, clinical research director at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Resuscitation Science, Muamba’s survival and recovery are solely due to the CPR and defibrillation — a combination of Basic Life Support and ACLS techniques — that the first responders provided.

In fact, studies show that CPR increases the survival rate by more than 50 percent. Unfortunately, only about 30 percent of people that experience cardiac arrest receive the help they need .

That’s why Dr. Michael R. Sayre, a professor of emergency medicine at Ohio State University, recommends that bystanders act immediately to perform CPR – and take CPR classes in order to be prepared.

If just 20 percent more people learned – and practiced – CPR, that could translate into about 40,000 more lives saved each year. You can help save lives by earning your certification in CPR, ACLS or other first aid classes through Above Bar CPR.

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