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Awesome Petaluma Senior Center Staff Help Woman Survive Heart Attack

PETALUMA SENIOR CENTER. Credit: City of Petaluma.
PETALUMA SENIOR CENTER. Credit: City of Petaluma.
A woman who suffered a heart attack at the Petaluma Senior Center Wednesday morning was revived with the help of a staff member and is recovering in a hospital, a Petaluma Fire Department battalion chief said.

The 75-year-old woman arrived at the Senior Center around 10 a.m. to attend a class on healthy eating and weight loss, Emergency Medical Service Battalion Chief Jeff Schach said.

As she entered the senior center at 211 Novak Drive she told a woman holding the door for her, "I think I have a problem," and collapsed to the ground Schach said.

The woman holding the door asked for help and Don Streeper, the Petaluma Senior Center's recreation coordinator, and other staff members came to the rescue, Schach said.

Streeper had "Hands-On" CPR training and he recognized the woman wasn't breathing and had no pulse, Schach said.

Staff members called 911 while Streeper gave CPR until first responders arrived with life support medications and defibrillation devices, Schach said.

The rhythmic Hands-On chest compressions keep the heart, brain and other organs oxygenated so they are more responsive to advanced life support interventions, Schach said.

Heart attack victims who receive CPR from a bystander before first responders arrive are three times more likely to survive over those who do not receive CPR, Schach said.

Nationally, more than 90 percent of cardiac arrest victims do not survive, Schach said.

A Petaluma Fire Department ambulance arrived three minutes later and began advanced life support care while Streeper continued CPR.

A fire department engine crew arrived to take over CPR and give the woman intravenous medications and defibrillate her woman twice before she regained her pulse Schach said.

The woman regained consciousness and talked to the ambulance crew about what happened, Schach said.

The woman said she had called an ambulance in the past when she became light-headed, Schach said. Schach spoke to the woman's daughter by phone at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

"She said she was doing fine and was 100 percent with it," Schach said.

"This event highlights how CPR saves lives," Schach said.

"It takes first responders an average of five minutes to arrive at the scene of a medical emergency from the time a 911 call is made. Once someone's heart stops beating, brain damage will begin within 3-5 minutes," Schach said.

Hands-Only CPR takes only a few minutes to learn and practice, and several organizations provide free classes, Schach said.

Visit https://phcd.org.healthquestIntro/ to find local training sites.

--Bay City News

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