Andy Soltys is a trauma nurse in the Emergency Room at Loyola Hospital, where he’s come to rely on his quick instincts to save lives. These medical skills are typically reserved for time spent on the job. But recently, his recreational time quickly evolved into an emergency situation.
Andy’s friend and teammate Kirke Cushing collapsed from a heart attack on the ice during a men’s league hockey game. CPR along with shocks from an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) saved Kirke that day, sustaining life as paramedics rushed to the scene.
While medical training was helpful, Andy insists this kind heroic intervention could be performed by anyone. He encourages people not to be afraid to perform CPR or use an AED. AEDs, which are available in most public spaces, feature voice instructions that allow any individual to properly operate the device.
Andy says, “Each moment that goes by without intervention decreases chance of survival. Quick response with quality hands-only CPR is the most effective thing. We recommend immediate chest compressions: one hundred chest compressions in one minute. They should be strong deep chest compressions to circulate the blood throughout the system. Also, the AED and immediate shock as quickly as possible following cardiac arrest is very important for survival.”
Kirke is now back in action and playing hockey again. He’s grateful for the quick intervention of those around him.