Airport AED, Fast-Acting Bystander Save Traveler

Thanks to the heroic efforts a quick-acting bystander and the on-site availability of an automated external defibrillator, a tragedy was averted and a life saved recently at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. On a recent June morning, Gaylord Hall and his wife were using the check-in kiosk at the Delta ticket lobby, when Hall suddenly collapsed. Dennis Tracey, M.D., the medical science liaison for Birmingham, Ala.-based Veinwave USA, happened to be nearby. He stepped in and quickly determined that Hall was not breathing and had no pulse. Tracey immediately began emergency medical treatment until the on-site paramedics arrived.

According to the airport's fire chief, Tracey immediately initiated CPR and took advantage of an on-site AED. As a result, the New Orleans Fire Department emergency medical technicians arrived on the scene to find the patient's pulse had resumed as well as spontaneous breathing. Before being transported to the hospital, the patient was conscious and talking. The EMTs said the incident was an excellent example of what is possible if CPR and AED use are initiated quickly, along with timely activation of the emergency medical services system. Without these actions, the outcome could have been very different, they said.

Delta employee Kyla Singleton said, "I myself am so grateful that Dr. Tracey reacted so quickly and was willing to assist Mr. Hall during this grave emergency.” Glynda Pace, the Delta station manager in New Orleans added, "I understand the EMTs were on a different concourse assisting another passenger when [Tracey] took control of the situation in front of our counter. We will definitely ensure the unused ticket is refunded and appropriate bonus mileage is added to his SkyMiles account for that inconvenience. We were truly blessed to have him on the scene Monday."

Tracey attributed his level of preparedness in part to the health and wellness program in place at Veinwave, which specializes in providing advanced vein therapies. Tracey himself instituted a first aid and CPR training program for all company representatives, and he said he had, in fact, just recently conducted similar training at one of the company's national sales meetings. "As medical device representatives, we are always traveling and need to be prepared for such emergencies," he said.

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