SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. It targets anyone, anywhere, at any age. But there is a tool which can saves lives, and you don’t need a medical background to use it.
Two weeks ago, Les Morgan almost took his last breath. But an electrical shock brought him back.
“No warning, no pain, no shortness of breath — I just went out,” said Les Morgan.
Les and his son Kyle are firefighters in Schuylkill Haven. They were out on a call when he had a sudden cardiac arrest.
“With his situation where his heart was in v-fib without the use of an AED, there was no coming back,” said Asst. Fire Chief Kyle Morgan.
Kyle, trained for emergencies like this, knew he could save his dad’s life. He hollered to the others to bring in the automated external defibrillator.
“I was very lucky that it happened where it did. That I fell at the right spot or I wouldn’t be standing here,” said Les Morgan.
He was down for less than two minutes. Doctors say that quick action not only saved his life, but also largely reduced the damage done to his heart.
“We’re used to giving it but not receiving it,” said Morgan.
It takes first responders about ten minutes once 911 is called to get on scene. For each minute you wait, the chance of survival is reduced by 10-percent, which is why you shouldn’t wait.
AEDs are made for the average person to operate. When you open an AED, it verbally walks you through the steps to analyze the heart’s rhythm, deliver a shock, and re-establish a heart beat.
According to the American Heart Association, survival from cardiac arrest doubled when people used AEDs in public places.
“When you walk into an establishment, you should look around and say ok there’s the aed, there’s the fire extinguisher, something happens, i know where it’s at it can save my dad’s life, my mom’s life, it can save my life,” said Morgan.
As for les, he says he’s doing “shockingly” well. He spent four days in a hospital and is now doing cardiac rehab. If you’re interested in buying an AED— they start at about 600 dollars.