A WA woman who had no pulse for almost 20 minutes after suffering a suspected heart attack on City Beach was brought back from the dead by two surf lifesavers (including UWA Sport Recreate instructor Nick Wagstaff) now hailed as heroes.
Lifeguards and volunteer surf lifesavers Nick Wagstaff, 22, and Blair Redfern, 26, said they refused to give up on the 66-year-old Perth woman during the marathon CPR and resuscitation effort.
The drama unfolded when the woman emerged from a swim between the flags last Saturday afternoon and lay on the sand but was found by her daughter a short time later unconscious and not breathing.
She screamed to lifesavers nearby, yelling: “Help, help, my mum, my mum”.
Mr Wagstaff rushed to the woman’s aid and started CPR before he was joined by Mr Redfern, the Scarborough Beach Surf Life Saving Club captain who was on a roving four-wheel-drive patrol.
“I got on the oxygen and defib. Nick was doing compressions,” Mr Redfern, a lifeguard of 10 years, said.
“We knew what we needed to do, we’ve got the training.
“You don’t really think to be honest, you just do the job. That stuff goes through your head — she’s got no pulse, she’s not breathing.
Mr Wagstaff and Mr Redfern performed more than 20 rounds of CPR and shocked their patient three times with a defibrillator in a desperate attempt to bring her back to life. Two doctors visiting the beach, David Skirving and Fiona Stanley Hospital’s Madeleine Gordon, assisted with efforts to revive the mother.
“After two shocks (with the defibrillator) you start to doubt. But you just keep going,” Mr Redfern said.
Amazingly, the woman regained a pulse and started breathing again before being rushed to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital by paramedics, where she had a full recovery and was discharged on Thursday. She avoided brain damage because the quick-thinking lifeguards used oxygen to keep her vital organs going.
The woman asked not to be named but her daughter said she “couldn’t bear the thought” of what would have happened to her mother if lifeguards weren’t close at hand.
“The family are really, really appreciative of the support that was given at the beach, especially to the lifesavers and doctors who didn’t hesitate to help and were just simply amazing,” the daughter said.
“Mum is expected to make a full recovery. She is currently recovering well at home and is incredibly grateful and cannot thank the services enough. What happened was completely unexpected.”
Mr Wagstaff, a Surf Life Saving WA volunteer and a paid lifeguard, said years of training kicked in when he saw the woman in distress.
“I was doubtful (of reviving her) but I was also confident in our training and I knew we had to do everything we could,” he said.
“All up it was about 20 minutes of doing CPR and honestly I was just trying to focus on the patient and what needed to be done. With the adrenaline going, you lose track of time. It’s really nice to know we were able to have that impact but at the end of the day we were on the beach doing our job — the whole patrol did such a good job.”
SLSWA lifesaving services manager Peter Scott said bringing the woman back to life after more than 15 minutes without a pulse was “one of the longer successful CPR events we’ve seen in a few years”.
Mr Scott praised the efforts of the two men and said it was a reminder for everyone to swim in patrolled areas.
“Although this didn’t happen in the water, she was in the patrolled precinct which meant when the alarm was raised it made the response time that much quicker,” he said. “When someone isn’t breathing, every second is crucial.
“Everyone should do a first aid and CPR course.”
Originally Published at: http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/miracle-on-city-beach-...
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