Doctor says Bouwmeester cardiac incident good reason to learn CPR, use AED

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ST. LOUIS – After collapsing on the team bench during Tuesday night’s game, Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester received quick help from trainers and doctors on hand. They administered CPR and used an AED unit to stabilize him so he could be brought to a hospital.

Dr. Michael Lim, director of cardiology for SLUCare/SSM Health SLU Hospital, says this is a learning moment for all of us because it could happen to anyone.

“We can be paralyzed by it or learn lessons from it where it reminds us, ‘wow, this stuff happens,’” he said.

February is American Heart Month. Heart disease and cardiovascular disease are the number one killer of men and women in the country. So what can we do? Dr. Lim says to make sure you know how to perform CPR and use an automated external defibrillator (AED).

"The faster CPR is provided, the faster electric shock is provided when indicated, the better the survival of that person will be," he said.

Dr. Lim says if somebody collapsed in front of you, would you know how to perform CPR or use an AED?

"Empower yourself. Get past the fear,” he said. “Say, ‘I can do this,’ and if you want to get motivated more, that could be your family member."

Dr. Lim was working in Detroit when former Red Wings player Jiri Fischer collapsed during a game in 2005. He was saved with CPR and an AED. In 2014, Rich Peverly of the Dallas Stars collapsed during a game. His life was saved in the same manner.

Both Fischer and Peverly never played in the NHL again but they’re living healthy lives. Dr. Lim says AEDs are everywhere we go.

"We don’t pay enough attention to where AEDs are. So one might be close to us but if we are unaware of location, it's basically non-existent," he said.

 

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