Mariano began to feel strange sweats while playing tennis. Aware that something was happening, he told his partner that he was going to stop, that he did not feel well. It was saying it and falling to the ground. This scene occurred at the Valdebernardo municipal sports centre in Madrid in 2016. One of the technicians from the centre was present and called Félix, the person in charge. They ran over to see what was happening: Mariano was unconscious.
Another colleague brought a defibrillator, a device that is used in cases like this, of cardiac arrest. When it is removed from the cardiac rescue column (CRC) where it is stored, an automatic signal is sent to the local emergency health services, which in turn send an ambulance to the scene. The one that is closest.
It only takes a few minutes to arrive, but in the meantime, another local health technician has already contacted the centre. Performs the usual questions: What happened? What are the symptoms? Do you breathe? Do you have a pulse? Gasp?
Based on the responses, he recommends -or not- using the defibrillator to deliver an electric shock, placing the electrodes on the chest of the affected person.
This action can save lives. In fact, it does; it is the necessary tool to reactivate the heart of the stop that has just suffered.
A Problem That Leads to “sudden death”
It is a cardiac arrest, the origin of which is not yet known with certainty. The heart suddenly stops pumping blood correctly and the victim loses his pulse and consciousness. In a matter of minutes, if left untreated, it dies.
About 95% of the recorded episodes end like this, with a tragic ending. The mortality rate, therefore, is extremely high, of the most lethal and rapid diseases; but there is also the possibility of survival.
The sports hall scene is one of them. We will tell about it in this report in more detail: after the discharge of the electrodes and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) for two minutes, the defibrillator itself – which is intelligent – analyzed Mariano’s situation. And he concluded that it was no longer necessary to make another download.
Two things could happen. Or that he was already in a non-shockable rhythm or that he was coming off the stop. Luckily, it was the latter. Felix, the person in charge of the centre, took his pulse and with joy noticed that he had returned: Mariano was recovering and he soon opened his eyes. Later, the ambulance came, but the scare had already passed.