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Tag: Defibrillators

How My iPhone Prevented an ER Visit

It’s one of those calls you never want to get as an electrophysiologist:

“Doc, I got four shocks from my device yesterday.”

“What were you doing at the time?”

“Working outside.”

“Wasn’t it about a 100 degrees and humid then?”

“Yes.”

“Were you lightheaded before the event?”

“Not too bad… I stopped what I was doing and got better. Should I come in to the ER?”

“This happened yesterday?”

“Yes.”

“Why didn’t you come in then?”

“Well I started to feel better…”

“Do you know how to upload the information from your device at home?”

“You mean using that thing next to my bed?”

“Yes.”

“I think so.”

“Okay, why don’t you go do this and we’ll call you right back after we have a chance to view the information you send us.”

“Okay. Thanks, doctor.”

So I waited about 15-20 minutes, then checked the Medtronic Carelink app on my iPhone.

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Hockey Teams and AED’s Save Lives

I’ve played over a thousand ice hockey games in my life, but I had no idea that last month’s adult men’s league game in Cleveland would be the most memorable. I grew up in Canada, three blocks from Wayne Gretzky, the greatest hockey player ever, but I wouldn’t be surprised if my recent game was more important than any game that my former neighbor played. This game was literally a matter of life or death.

I almost didn’t show up to the game. I had just landed in Cleveland from New York City after attending a close friend’s wedding. I’d landed at 8:15pm, jumped in my car and dialed into a conference call for my organization uFLOW, arriving and finishing my call barely in time for the 9:30pm puck drop. I didn’t plan my schedule around the game; the timing just happened to work out.

It was close to the end of the 2nd period when I heard our captain, Brandon Dynes, yell something and race off the ice. I soon realized he skated off to call 911. I looked down at the end of the bench and saw that our teammate Harley was unresponsive. Harley is 69 years old (though could pass for 50) and as the eldest player in our men’s league has been an inspiration to many of us. I quickly went over to assess him and found he had no pulse, was not breathing, and not responding to verbal or physical stimuli. I was fortunate that the opposing team had a physician playing as well, Dr. John Wood, an orthopedic surgeon. John quickly came over and could not find a pulse either. Knowing end organ damage such a anoxic brain injury can occur quickly, I grabbed Harley and layed him on the bench and started compressions, pressing his chest extra hard knowing I was going through a layer of hockey pads. I later quickly ripped off his pads off to assure better compressions.Continue reading…