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Vail - top of Sourdough Express saw CPR in progress today.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Don't know the story on what happened, just happened to be catwalking to Two Elks when I saw a sea of patrollers. In the center was a male in a stokes basket, c-collared.  an AED was attached as I heard one of the patrollers say "Analysing now.".  They hooked the basket up and took off with CPR in progress. I hope he made it, but it didn't look good.


post #2 of 8

You saw a dead person today-less than 1% of people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Anyone see anything in the news re: this incident?  I can't find anything about it.  We talked to some other people who saw what was going on and they said they saw the Patrollers shock the patient with the AED. 

post #4 of 8
Originally Posted by csavage View Post

You saw a dead person today-less than 1% of people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest

If he was in V-tach/V-fib, there is a chance he could have made it.  True cardiac arrest (asystole)... then probably not.  Those machines have ekg machines attached, and are usually able to shock away ventricular arrhythmias, but asystole I think requires a number of things (all of which may have low chance of working)...


But the fact this happened up at 11,000 (or whatever) feet prolly doesn't help. 



It is always chilling to see tragedy on the slopes.  When I was at Tremblant a few years ago, I saw someone at the base with a C-collar hooked up to an oxygen mask getting taken into an ambulance.  It is not a pretty site when one is trying to enjoy the mountain.  But hopefully to all it is a reminder to ski safely.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Still nothing in the news.  Maybe he just had a heart MI on the mountain.

post #6 of 8

CPR does save lives. 


As a volunteer EMT with the local  fire department I personally perform CPR about 10 times a year.  In the last 12 months I have been fortunate to have had two saves.  One of the saves was a 50 YO school teacher with spouse and 2 young children.  The school teacher made a full recovery.  The real heroes in this save was the 911 dispatcher on the phone and spouse performing CPR before I got there with O2 and AED.  Without the CPR in progress before I got there, the school teacher probably would have never made it.  Another EMT in my fire department saved a young child this summer by performing  CPR after the child was found at the bottom of the swimming pool with no pulse. 


Learn CPR, push hard, release the compression all the way up, and push really fast like almost 2 times a second.   If you are not a professional health care provider, you do NOT need to give breaths by mouth.  All you need to do is the compressions. 


There is nothing better than hearing that AED say shock advised right after it analyzed the patient, which means its a shockable  V-Tack or V-Fib heart rhythm. 

post #7 of 8

This one is from last month, not yesterday.




I threw it in because I survived the same heart attack.  June 6th, 2009 at the age of 39, I started having a "heart attack" (MI) while running with some fellow members of my national guard unit.  I didn't realize it for about 45 minutes.  A couple great folks helped save my life that day, but I share this story more as a warning that not all heart attacks present the same.


About a quarter mile into the run, I hit an endurance wall and pushing through it was harder than any I had ever had... my first two symptoms manifested then  1. an overwhelming sense of fatigue, and 2. a weird sort of smokers like cough.


After calling it quits at a mile and a half, I showered and put on my uniform (military).  I walked maybe 30 feet into my office and was having a chat with my boss for 3 or 4 minutes when I started getting more classic symptoms.  Both of my arms went numb from the elbows to the finger tips. 30 seconds later I broke out in a profuse sweat (bad enough that after the ordeal, my boss said it looked like I had stepped back into the shower fully clothed) I looked at the boss and said "I think I may be having a heart attack".  Once upon a time I was a volunteer EMT and did a little dabbling with the local search and rescue group... if I hadn't had that training I might not have recognized what was happening and I might not be around to tell this story.  It wasn't for another 10 minutes or so that the chest pain started.


Long story short, I had a 100% blockage of the LAD (left anterior descending) artery on my heart... aka "the widow maker".  I'd like to throw a major kudos to the New Mexico Heart Hospital here (and all the other specialty heart clinics and hospitals out there).  Their professional staff, and quick processing from the ER to the Cath Lab (thanks Dr. Pacheco!) saved my bacon.  The outstanding post MI care provided by Dr. Cavanaugh allowed me to make a full recovery and take up skiing again this season.


I'd like to throw thanks out to the outstanding folks at the New Mexico Air National Guard medical group for their quick thinking and for keeping me stable until the ambulance arrived (almost 45 minutes later).  That aspirin may have kept me alive and was probably what kept me from suffering permanent heart damage.


My uncle died of a substantially similar heart attack climbing one of the big Colorado peaks around 45 days later.  He was nearing the top sat down, said a few words to my cousin and just passed away.  The only symptom he had was indigestion earlier that day.  This was an outstanding man in peak physical shape.  Local Volunteer fire fighter in Durango, Co, avid outdoorsman, accomplished climber, biker, skier etc. 


I still miss you uncle Maynard!  I wish we had more time together, especially in these past 10 years.


Things I learned:

1. Enjoy each day as you just never know how it will end.

2. Don't leave any regrets, if you want to spend more time with your family, then spend it today!  That time lost will never come back.

3. Aspirin saves lives, no joke, always keep some with you.

4. Good Karma comes around, I spent time in my younger days helping others and others were here to help me when I needed it.

5. Morphine isn't for me.  When it feels like your heart is being compressed in a bench vise, trickling ice water on it make no appreciable difference.

6. Heart attacks do not present the same.  Many do not have the shooting pains down the left arm, the chest pains, and other "classic symptoms".  Women especially can have them with no chest pain.  Educate yourself on heart issues.  It is a common killer and your survival rate increases if you catch it early.

7. Finally, die doing something you love.  If you aren't loving what you do, then you need to re-evaluate how you are living your life.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'm also a volunteer FF/First Responder; certified to perform CPR and run an AED.  We've had two saves on our service using the AED.  Since there is nothing in the news about the incident I can only conclude the patient made it and Vail doesn't publicize it when a patron has an MI on the mountain.  I had my camcorder with me and got a few minutes of the scene recorded.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Vail - top of Sourdough Express saw CPR in progress today.