When Nishant Kumar and Ruchir Astavans, long time friends and Microsoft employees set out on an afternoon hike along the “power line hiking trail” May 19th, they had no idea they would learn CPR that day. After they dialed 911 to ask for help, dispatchers with the NORCOM dispatch center quickly taught the two men CPR who were reporting a female runner face down on the trail. While the men performed immediate CPR on the unconscious runner and dispatchers coached them with the “Hands Only” CPR method, both men questioned if these skills were helpful soon enough to save the life of the person they had just found.
Those doubts were quickly forgotten though and proof that CPR does make a difference will be celebrated when rescuers and Sudden Cardiac Arrest survivor Karen McClure will meet June 18th at 2:30 PM near the same location where the two men found the 51-year-old McClure unconscious and unresponsive on the trail.
About twenty minutes into the hike, the men noticed Karen McClure lying on the trail but thought she was just injured. “We could see that someone was lying on the ground ahead of us, and the person was in running clothes, but we thought maybe she had just tripped or fallen.” according to Astavans. “Of course when we got closer, we realized she wasn’t breathing and her skin color was very pale and blue, she looked dead and we realized she needed CPR”
The two men immediately began CPR on the 51-year-old mother of two, remembering they were about ½ mile from the trail access. As dispatchers instructed the two rescuers to continue uninterrupted CPR, the two men also directed fire department responders to the scene.
Fire Department personnel from the Woodinville and Redmond Fire Departments arrived and continued resuscitation efforts for approximately 45 minutes until Mrs. McClure eventually regained pulses and a blood pressure. While the 51-year-old runner’s condition remained critical for several days at Evergreen Hospital’s Critical Care Unit, she gradually recovered and returned home June 3rd to be with her family.
“There is no doubt the actions of these two men saved the life of Mrs. McClure” offered Paramedic/Firefighter Skip Boylan, one of many responders that day. “We had a delay in getting to the site because of the nature of the trail access and terrain. The fact that these two men immediately began CPR without stopping offered Mrs. McClure every chance possible to survive her sudden cardiac arrest.”
This recent successful CPR case reinforces the fact that early recognition of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) signs and symptoms treated aggressively with uninterrupted CPR and early defibrillation saves lives.
“Bystander CPR is the critical link to the Chain of Survival that connects successful outcomes such as these” Boylan continued, “These men offered Mrs. McClure the opportunity to access advanced medical care because they kept her alive until those treatment options could be offered. While these advanced treatment options are ultimately what “fixes” the medical problem, patients can never be offered those options, if they don’t survive the initial event. This is an emergency medical response system team success! CPR is that bridge to the team success and we are seeing over and over again, that if a person is administered high quality, uninterrupted CPR at the onset, they will have more than a 60% chance of surviving that SCA event. Without CPR, the patient will have absolutely zero chance of survival.”
Mrs. McClure and her family, the two men who provided CPR and fire department crews will meet on June 18, 2011 at 2:30 PM near the site where Mrs. McClure was rescued. This will be the first time Mrs. McClure has met the men who performed CPR on her that day. While Mr. Kumar and Mr. Astavans insist they did nothing that any other passerby wouldn’t have done, both men say they are definitely believers of the idea that CPR can save lives and are grateful they had the skills to help. “We know CPR works!” Astavans said. “This is proof, and we are extremely happy Mrs. McClure survived. We were pretty sure that when the fire department had taken her to the hospital, we would never see her again. We thought for sure she would not survive. When the fire department called and told us that not only had she survived and was going home, we couldn’t believe it. We called everyone we knew and told them to learn CPR. CPR works, it really works!”
Directions to Reunion Site:
Address: 18300 Block of NE 111 St. Redmond, WA.
The trail entrance and right of way is between two homes on NE 111 St. Enter the neighborhood from Avondale Rd. NE to NE 104 Ave NE traveling west up the hill. Turn north on 184th Ave NE and the street will bend to the right and left and then turns into 183rd Ave NE. At the end of 183rd Ave NE turn right on NE 110th St.,which bends into 183rd Pl NE. This is the corner of NE 111th and 183rd Pl NE. Parking is along the street near the trail entrance.