SM: Bill was not intubated because he was actually breathing spontaneously; he had supplemental oxygen. An IV was started, but he didn’t actually require any medications because he did have a pulse at that time. I know that there is a paramedic unit within the stadium at every game, but that’s actually for the players. We had to wait for the emergency medical services [EMS] system to bring a paramedic unit that would transport and take care of Bill.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 35 – No 02 – February 2016
KK: Did the players stop?
SM: Play didn’t stop. Part of it was there wasn’t awareness, and unless there is an event on the ice, they won’t stop play.
KK: Sujal, did you go to the hospital with Bill?
SM: No, I didn’t. As you’ve been in these situations before, there were a lot of folks who got involved; there was a cardiologist and everyone else coming out of the woodwork. I knew that by that time, my work was done, and I felt comfortable with how Bill was going to be handed off to the EMS system.
KK: Sujal, how has this changed your life, if it did in any way?
SM: It has given me a whole different level of appreciation for the simple things we can do in cardiac arrest. The other piece of it is it truly humanized that experience in a way that I do not think I’ve had the opportunity to see before. Sometimes I’ve been able to follow up with patients, but I’ve never shared the connection with a patient in the way I have with Bill.
KK: Bill, what are a couple of ways that this has changed your outlook on things?
BS: There are a couple of things. One, my other sons are going to get some tests done with a little more urgency than they were before to make sure that they do not have similar problems. Prior to my event, the only person in the family who has had anything was my grandfather who, at 65, passed away from a heart attack. There is no other person with heart disease on either side of my family. I now look at every day as a gift because I had the v-fib once at the Staples Center and twice more in the emergency room, so I had it three times in total. My middle son says, “That makes you a zombie because you died three times.” My youngest son is actually a radiologist, and he says, “No, you didn’t die because death is brain death, and you didn’t come anywhere near that.” Now we look at every day with a little more appreciation.