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article imageThe luckiest heart attack victim on the planet

By Joan Firstenberg     Jun 30, 2011 in Health
Lewiston - A man attending a heart disease conference in Lewiston, Maine Tuesday suddenly collapsed in cardiac arrest. But it couldn't have happened in a better place. Because a heart doctor speaking at the conference went to work immediately to save him.
Dr. William Phillips explained to the Sun Journal
"We were talking about angina and this man raised his hand and said, 'I'm having it right now", and I said, 'Are you kidding?' And he said, 'No.' I can't tell you how I was hoping that guy was going to open his eyes, because, I thought, nothing could be worse if he dies right here.'"
The New York Daily News reports that over 100 conference participants, many with a history of heart problems, watched as Dr. Phillips and three nurses started doing CPR on the man's body.
The conference topic was to compare bypass surgery versus stenting for ailing heart patients. It was at the very moment when the speaker started talking about angina that the man raised his hand.
Dr. Phillips says that's when he took action. He asked one of his nurses if she could get a wheelchair and take the patient to the next door emergency room. But he realized time was not on his side when the man collapsed. When Phillips checked him out, the patient had no pulse and wasn't breathing. CPR was begun.
A nurse ran to get an automated external defibrillator, which is able to diagnose a severe heart problem, and then shocks the heart so it regains its rhythm. Dr. Phillips say it was this machine that really saved the man's life.
Then, paramedics arrived, started an IV, gave the man an EKG and took him to the emergency room next door.
After the conference, Phillips checked in on the man and was pleased with what he saw
"I went over to the emergency room, and he was sitting up in the bed, talking with his wife and waiting for test results,"
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