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MCPHS Students' "Hat Trick" Saves a Life


On November 13, 2012, Physician Assistant Studies students Seth Brawer, Adam Karwiel and David Allyn saved the life of an amateur league hockey player after the man suffered a myocardial infarction (MI) during a game last November.

The three first-year students were playing in their weekly hockey game when a player on the opposing team collapsed on the ice. Recently certified in advanced cardiovascular
support (ACLS), the three PA students jumped into action.

“(The victim) was lying on his back and gasping for breath,” said Allyn. “We reached in and tried to feel for a carotid pulse, and then a radial pulse, but we didn’t feel anything. In ACLS training they stress that if you’re not sure you feel a pulse, just start CPR. We instructed everyone to clear the space and initiated CPR. We directed someone to call 911 and retrieve the automated external defibrillator (AED) that was on site. We continued CPR while we set up the AED.”

The first rhythm analysis from the AED confirmed that the player had suffered an MI,and advised that an electrical shock be delivered to restart his heart. For the next 15 minutes until the EMTs arrived, the PA students sustained a routine of CPR and airway clearance.
Following transport to the hospital for advanced treatment, the player made a complete recovery.

“Once we found that out, it was an awesome feeling,” Allyn said. “It was great. We looked on it as anyone would have done the same thing if they were ACLS certified.”