February 6, 2017
EDMONTON — A local woman is being recognized by Alberta Health Services Emergency Medical Services (AHS EMS) for her quick thinking and actions that saved her father’s life.
On Jan. 15, 2016, Maslyn Dansereau was studying when she heard a ‘thunk’ from where her father, Martin, was exercising.
“I knew in my head it was way too loud for something to have been dropped and my heart just sank,” says the 20-year-old Leduc County woman.
She raced to the basement where she found Martin, 51, face down on the floor. She turned him over and checked for a pulse, finding none.
“I kicked into overdrive and thought, ‘I need to do CPR now.’ I did it until an ambulance came and they took over,” says Maslyn.
When EMS arrived, paramedics used an automated external defibrillator (AED) to restart Martin’s heart. Once they had a heartbeat, they continued care in the ambulance en route to the University of Alberta Hospital and the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute.
Once at the Mazankowski, staff and physicians put two stents into Martin’s heart to keep his arteries open, and he had a short stay in the Critical Care Unit. Since then, Martin has completed a rehabilitation program and shows no ill effects from his cardiac arrest.
“Maslyn did everything right,” says EMS Public Education Officer Alex Campbell. “She started CPR right away, had her mom call 911 and unlock their doors to allow paramedics in, and continued CPR properly until help arrived. She saved her dad’s life.”
Maslyn had taken CPR courses as part of her schooling at MacEwan University for psychiatric nursing but had never used it on a person before.
“Early bystander CPR is the critical link in the chain of survival because the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest drops drastically for every minute that passes with no activity,” says Campbell. “No part of the chain of survival can have weak links for a positive patient outcome. From Maslyn to the EMS paramedics to the care at the Mazankowski, everything worked.”
The Heart and Stroke Foundation estimates only seven to 10 per cent of Canadians survive a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting.
The Dansereau family has developed a course – It Could Be You – with the Heart & Stroke Foundation about heart health and how to react in cases of emergency.
“It happened to me; it could happen to anybody. I was healthy, I didn’t have a history. Just because you don’t have a family history doesn’t mean you’re not a candidate,” says Martin.
“It’s so important that you learn how to do CPR. Know where an AED is and know how to use it. It could be your life. It could be your wife, it could be your husband, it could be someone on the street. You could save a life and it’s as simple as taking a course.”
AHS EMS suggests that members of the public take CPR courses, available through accredited institutions such as the Heart & Stroke Foundation or St. John’s Ambulance.
All AEDs can be registered with www.heart-safe.ca. The service lets EMS dispatchers know where the AEDs are located, provides notifications for pad or battery expiration dates, and provides information on where to put an AED as well as making or changing an emergency response plan.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.
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