Duke cardiologist Monique Anderson, MD, has spent her early career researching the importance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. After presenting about the impact of quality CPR at U.S. hospitals at an American Heart Association meeting, Anderson found herself in a life-or-death situation that put her and her research into action.
Cardiac Arrest is No Joke
Anderson had just left a reception that followed within hours of her presentation when she and her mentor, Duke cardiologist Eric Peterson, MD, were stopped in their tracks by the sight of a man lying face down on the floor.
“I turned to Eric and said, ‘Is this a joke?’” Anderson recalled. It was clear that it wasn't. Breaking into a run, Anderson called for someone to call 911 while she quickly assessed the man’s vital signs. He had no pulse and wasn't breathing. She immediately began performing CPR.
“After only a brief round of CPR he began moaning,” Anderson said. Within a few seconds, he sat upright. “We laid him back down and started asking orientation questions.” Minutes later, an ambulance whisked him to the hospital, leaving Anderson to shake her head in wonder at the surreal experience.
"Knowing hands-only CPR is critically important for anyone over the age of 13," said Anderson. "While this event occurred in a public setting, most cardiac arrests occur in the home. You never know when these skills will be needed."