Five teens and AED save foot­baller’s life

The Star Malaysia - - Nation - By ARNOLD LOH arnold.loh@thes­

GE­ORGE TOWN: For 12 min­utes, a foot­baller stood at death’s gates when his heart stopped.

And the ones who brought him back were five steady-minded teenagers armed with an Au­to­mated Ex­ter­nal De­fib­ril­la­tor (AED).

Re­call­ing the in­ci­dent, St John Am­bu­lance Malaysia (SJAM) cadet Ans­ley Tan Zhong, 14, said he saw real-es­tate agent Long Soo Keat pass out dur­ing a foot­ball match with his fel­low Chung Ling alumni.

Tan rushed to him and called out to his team mem­bers to join him.

Their se­nior, SJAM L/Cpl Gabriel Soon Chai Long, 16, quickly re­alised Long, 49, was about to die.

“His pulse was ir­reg­u­lar and then stopped. He was gasp­ing heav­ily. We call that ag­o­nal breath­ing, the sign of a heart attack,” he said.

What fol­lowed on Sept 1 saw the teenagers bring­ing Long back from the brink by us­ing the pub­lic AED in Chung Ling High School, Ayer Itam.

The Star met Soon, Tan, SJAM Pvt Liong Jun Yong, 16, and cadets S. Shaman and Tang Yi Ze, both 14, af­ter their de­brief­ing ses­sion at SJAM’s head­quar­ters on Satur­day.

Re­count­ing the in­ci­dent, Tan said he told a by­s­tander to run to the AED kiosk on the school grounds, break the glass to un­lock the de­vice and bring it to them.

Soon then took out the AED sen­sor pads and at­tached them to Long’s chest. The AED an­a­lysed Long’s con­di­tion and its voice-prompt told Soon to per­form car­diac pul­monary re­sus­ci­ta­tion (CPR).

Though Soon had prac­tised hun­dreds of times, it was the first time he did CPR for real.

“The lat­est CPR re­search rec­om­mends 30 chest com­pres­sions and then two res­cue breaths per cy­cle.

“The AED’s voice-prompt kept telling me to ‘push harder’. The vic­tim was big­ger than me and I used all my strength,” Soon said.

At in­ter­vals, the AED told Soon to stop touch­ing Long so that it could de­liver elec­tric shocks of 150 to 200 volts.

“The de­vice gave him three shocks and when the am­bu­lance came, he was given an­other shock with the am­bu­lance’s de­fib­ril­la­tor.

“Only af­ter that did his heart beat again,” he said.

Soon said the AED’s anal­y­sis showed the CPR he did weak­ened as the sec­onds went by.

“We must take turns do­ing CPR be­cause it is tir­ing. But I was so fo­cused on sav­ing his life that I didn’t re­mem­ber. I will never for­get now,” he said.

Long was warded for nearly two weeks. He was dis­charged on Fri­day and is now re­cu­per­at­ing at home.

“The five boys are he­roes. I think other peo­ple would have pan­icked but the boys were well-trained.

“When I blacked out, I felt no pain ... I was just sud­denly gone. I played foot­ball nearly ev­ery week. My stamina is not good and I tire quickly. I have high blood pres­sure.

“But I never knew my heart was in dan­ger. I want ev­ery­one around my age to go for a check-up, even if you think noth­ing is wrong,” Long told The Star.

Pe­nang Heart Safe Programme chair­man Datuk Dr Luah Lean Wah said the state’s pub­lic AEDs, made by Zoll Med­i­cal Cor­po­ra­tion (ZOLL), gave real-time feed­back with voice com­mands to give in­struc­tions to res­cuers on what to do.

Life-sav­ingin­ci­dent: The am­bu­lance of­fi­cers and Soon (white shirt) check­ing Long at the foot­ball ground in Chung Ling High School in Ayer Itam.

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